Iraq resumes int’l flights

The Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority (ICAA) has resumed regular international flights, even as the total number of COVID-19 cases in the country reached 102,226.

“Airports of Baghdad, Basra and Najaf have witnessed an active movement of citizens travelling abroad,” said an ICAA statement on Thursday.

Erbil and Sulaimaniyah airports in the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan did not resume flights because they were not ready to apply the preventive health measures as required by the health authorities, Xinhua news agency quoted the statement as saying.

The ICAA highlighted the importance of abiding by the strict preventive health measures in the airports that have been issued earlier by the Higher Committee for Health and National Safety headed by Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry said 2,361 new COVID-19 cases were recorded in Iraq in the past 24 hours, raising the total number of infections to 102,226.

Majority of the new cases (902) were registered in the capital Baghdad.

It also reported 80 fatalities during the day, raising the death toll to 4,122 in the country, while 2,258 more patients recovered, bringing the total number of recoveries to 69,405.

On July 16, the Higher Committee for Health and National Safety decided to reduce the hours of the partial curfew, except for the full curfew on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

It also decided to completely lift the curfew after the Eid al-Adha holiday, which is expected to end in early August.

The committee’s decision also included reopening airports, as well as two crossing border points with neighbouring Iran and one with Kuwait for commercial exchange.