KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani and Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani (pictured) today chaired a cabinet meeting with governors from the Kurdistan Region to discuss recent developments, along with the steps the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is taking to prevent an outbreak of the coronavirus.
Minister of Health Saman Hussein Muhammed updated the Prime Minister and his cabinet on the latest data regarding the spread of the coronavirus around the world and across the region, and presented immediate actions and measures the KRG is undertaking to prevent the virus from entering the Kurdistan Region.
The KRG Council of Ministers issued several decisions to protect the health of the Kurdistan Region's citizens, as follows:
• The KRG will deliver up-to-date accurate information and instructions to the public on a daily basis, with the help of media organisations.
• The KRG will declare the period of 26 February to 10 March a public holiday for all public and private schools and kindergartens in the Kurdistan Region. Public and private universities will be closed from 29 February to 10 March. All schools and universities will remain closed during the spring break (10 March - 23 March) before reopening on 24 March. The Ministries of Education and Higher Education and Scientific Research will prepare a schedule that enables students to catch up with their studies.
• The KRG will screen domestic and international tourists entering the Kurdistan Region, in addition to limiting their movements. No one will be permitted to enter the Kurdistan Region without the required medical checks.
• The KRG will ensure people have access to everyday commodities, and that shops in the Kurdistan Region will continue stocking essential goods. The KRG will prevent the price manipulation of essential goods, and take action against anyone who attempts to benefit illegally from this situation.
• The Ministry of Finance and Economy will provide financial support to governorates and local administrations, working closely with the Ministries of Interior and Health.
The KRG is encouraging everyone to help with the implementation of these preventative steps, and to follow instructions and advice provided by healthcare professionals to protect themselves from the coronavirus.
Prime Minister Barzani also briefed ministers on the KRG delegation’s recent series of important meetings with world leaders in Germany, Italy and the Vatican. He provided an update on the latest efforts in Baghdad to form a new federal government, and stressed the Kurdistan Region, as an official and constitutional entity in Iraq, is the only body which can decide on its representatives in the federal government’s cabinet.
He added that all Kurdistani political parties in Baghdad were in agreement, and praised them for presenting a united front.