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Iraq confronts coronavirus amid infrastructure concerns

Iraq confronts coronavirus challenge.
Iraq confronts coronavirus challenge. © France 24

While Iran has proven a hotspot for coronavirus infections with 388 reported cases and 34 deaths, the six confirmed cases in neighbouring Iraq have pushed authorities to close schools and universities in that country amid concerns its healthcare infrastructure is ill-prepared to deal with a full-scale outbreak.

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The streets of Baghdad, the second most populated city in the Arab world, are deserted amid fears over the new coronavirus. Iraq has closed its border with Iran, ban travel to and from the other countries most affected, and shuttered schools, universities, cinemas and cafés until at least March 7 in a bid to contain its spread amid concerns the world is on the brink of a pandemic. A country that, after decades of war and sanctions, has fewer than 10 doctors per 10,000 inhabitants according to the World Health Organization, Iraq is not inclined to take any chances with this coronavirus.

This report comes from Ibrahim Saleh, FRANCE 24’s correspondent in Iraq, with Emerald Maxwell. To watch, click on the video player above.

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