Iraq

Ayatollah Sistani call to help people those in need amid coronavirus outbreak

Thousands of people across Iraq have begun a full-fledged campaign to support those in need in the Arab country following a call by the country’s most prominent Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani to help the people, irrespective of their race or religion, amid the deadly novel coronavirus pandemic.

Social media activists reported that volunteers have gathered in mosques and congregation halls in the capital Baghdad, the holy cities of Najaf and Karbala, the port city of Basra and elsewhere in the country to keep low-income families supplied with food.

People deliver food to the poor and seniors safely, as they are at greater risk of serious illness from COVID-19, making sure they’re not left on their own.

On Friday, the Iraqi Health Ministry announced in a statement that there were 820 confirmed cases of infection with novel coronavirus and 54 deaths in the country.

Out of the 48 cases confirmed during the past 24 hours, five were recorded in Baghdad, 12 in the southern province of Dhi Qar, 11 in the Kurdish-populated eastern city of Sulaymaniyah, nine in Najaf, four in Basra, three in Erbil, one in the provinces of Kirkuk, Muthanna, Babil and Anbar each, the statement noted.

No deaths were registered during the day.

Separately, Ahmed al-Sahaf, spokesman of the Iraqi Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 among Iraqi expatriates has reached 161, of whom seven have died.

Sahaf added that the highest number of the total infected cases outside the country was in Norway with 37 cases followed by Sweden, where 22 Iraqi nationals have contracted the virus.

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