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Friday, 24 September 2021

Iraq reopens airports even as Coronavirus cases rise

Airports were shut in March along with full-day curfews. Cases have risen exponentially since then and in particular following the Eid holiday in June

AP , Thursday 23 Jul 2020
Passengers prepare to travel at the Baghdad Airport, in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, July, 23, 2020. (AP
Passengers prepare to travel at the Baghdad Airport, in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, July, 23, 2020. (AP)
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Iraq opened its airports to commercial flights following months of lockdown as part of the government's plan to ease restrictions despite record numbers of coronavirus cases expected to exceed 100,000 this week.

Airports were shut in March along with full-day curfews. Cases have risen exponentially since then and in particular following the Eid holiday in June.

The curfew has been extended many times amid rising case numbers, which has exacerbated a severe economic crisis spurred by falling oil prices and crippled Iraq's private sector.

Iraq's Health Ministry reported 2,700 new cases over a 24-hour period on Wednesday, bringing the country's total to 99,865 cases. Over 4,000 people have died.

Flights to Beirut and Cairo were scheduled to take off 10 a.m. on Thursday.

The curfew will also be lifted following the Eid al-Adha holiday one July 30.

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