IRAQ: Christian town of Ankawa sounds alarm about worsening coronavirus outbreak

ANKAWA, Iraq — Social media sites in Ankawa, a predominantly Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian suburb of Erbil, Iraq, warned of the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic inside the town, especially after the increase in the number of infections in Erbil, which saw the confirmation of 150 new cases on Friday, according to the Iraqi Ministry of Health.

People in Ankawa on social media also addressed the difficult conditions in the city’s hospitals, which have a limited number of oxygen ventilators and a general lack of medical equipment.

A recent shortage of oxygen led to several deaths at the hospital.

The Kurdistan Region of Iraq has taken a number of precautionary measures to curb the increase in coronavirus infections but have not imposed a strict curfew despite Iraqi authorities throughout the country announcing curfews during Eid al-Adha holiday.

It is suspected that the increasing number of infections in northern Iraq is linked to a lack of health awareness among residents and their failure to adhere to the instructions and measures issued by the Health Directorate. Despite all advice, group activities and gatherings have continued in the region.