BAGDAD (Reuters) – Some Shiite pilgrims returning to Iraq from Syria have tested positive for coronavirus and raised concerns that such pilgrimages could be a source of wider spread of the disease across the country, said a senior Iraqi official and health official On Sunday.
So far, Iraq has recorded 547 coronavirus cases and 42 deaths, most of them in the past week.
According to the governor of Kerbala, the Shiite holy city of Kerbala had at least 11 cases of coronavirus among pilgrims who returned from Syria last week after visiting a Shiite shrine there.
"Anyone who has recently returned from Syria has been quarantined to ensure that they are not infected with coronavirus," said Governor Nusayif al-Khitabi in a video posted on Facebook (NASDAQ :).
Khitabi said the central government should have included Syria among the countries where Iraq has banned travelers from entering the country.
Health officials said there were four other cases of coronavirus among pilgrims visiting Damascus in the Shiite city of Najaf last week.
Syria has reported nine deaths. However, doctors say there are more cases. The government denies covering up the extent of the disease.
Thousands of Shiite pilgrims from Iran, a hotspot for coronaviruses, and other countries continue to come to Syria to visit the Sayeda Zainab shrine in Damascus.
The poor state of health systems in both war-torn Iraq and Syria means that they would be overwhelmed by the widespread spread of the epidemic.
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained on this website is not necessarily real-time or correct. All CFDs (stocks, indices, futures) and forex prices are not provided by exchanges, but by market makers. Therefore, prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price. This means that the prices are indicative and not suitable for trading purposes. Therefore, Fusion Media is not responsible for any trade losses that you may incur from using this data.
Fusion Media or anyone dealing with Fusion Media are not responsible for any loss or damage caused by trust in the information contained on this website such as data, offers, diagrams and buy / sell signals. Please be fully informed about the risks and costs associated with trading on the financial markets. This is one of the most risky forms of investment that is possible.