Prime Minister Adil Abd Al-Mahdi on Wednesday chaired a meeting of the Higher Committee for Health and National Safety.
The Committee agreed a number of measures, including:
- Exempting all medicines, medical supplies and devices, diagnostic and laboratory equipment from import license regulations
- Transferring 50 million US dollars to the General Company for Marketing Medicines and Medical Supplies
- Establishing a committee to assess current and future market needs in terms of food, medical supplies and agricultural produce, with a mandate to promote Iraqi products
- Facilitating the transit of lorries and refrigerated trucks carrying foodstuff, agricultural products, medical and veterinary materials between provinces and within cities
- Monitoring the prices of essential goods to ensure that they remain stable, and to take measures against profiteers, according to law
- Facilitating the transport of agricultural harvesters and livestock between provinces
- Establishing a committee at the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers to investigate and report on support mechanisms for workers in the private sector during Covid-19
- Establishing a committee to be chaired by the Minister of Planning to report on the financial impact of Covid-19 on citizens, and to suggest options to provide financial support to affected groups, especially those on low income
The Committee also discussed declaring a national day of solidarity to show support for those leading the national effort to combat Covid-19, to thank all Iraqis for their steadfastness and unity, and to pay the nation's respect to Iraqi families who lost loved ones because of Covid-19.
During the proposed national day of solidarity, which will be specified later, sirens will sound at a particular moment in the day, and the national anthem will be played on all TV channels, radio stations and other media throughout Iraq.
The Higher Committee for Health and National Safety, which is chaired by the Prime Minister, includes several ministers, the Secretary-General of the Council of Ministers, the Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq, the National Security Adviser, and a number of other officials.
The Committee is mandated with setting out policies, and adopting the necessary measures to contain Covid-19.
It will also coordinate with the Council of Representatives (Parliament), the judicial authorities, as well as relevant international organisations.
The Government Crisis Cell will continue to have responsibility for taking the necessary preventive measures and the delivery of Covid-19 health services, subject to the approval of the Prime Minister.
(Source: Govt of Iraq)