More than 3,000 people have been detained in Baghdad for violating the curfew imposed by the authorities ten days ago to force citizens to stay at home and thus prevent the spread of the coronavirus, of which 458 infections and 40 deaths have been recorded. .
The command that encompasses all Baghdad security forces announced that since March 17, when the 24-hour touch in Baghdad came into force (later expanded to all regions of Iraq), 3,040 people have been arrested and seized 612 vehicles.
Likewise, the authorities have imposed almost 23,000 fines in this period for not respecting the prohibition to move around the city and to or from other neighboring provinces.
Security forces called on citizens to respect the curfew “for their safety” and not to pose an added “burden” to officers trying to enforce preventive measures against the coronavirus epidemic.
The Iraqi Army sent reinforcements to the populous Sadr City neighborhood in eastern Baghdad to implement the curfew after its residents ignored the ban on leaving home and even attended collective prayers and other rallies.
In addition, military units were deployed in two provinces in the south of the country, Basra and Najaf, where the highest number of infections have been registered and even so the population has not respected the restrictions.
The UN mission in Iraq (UNAMI) has in recent days called on Iraqis to avoid crowds and social or religious acts, and has assured that “no effort by the authorities can be successful without the commitment of the population” and that “it is not time for complacency”.
The Iraqi government decreed the curfew in Baghdad on March 17 and later extended it to the entire country, until the 28th, and extended it again until April 11 due to the increase in infections by COVID-19.
Iraq was one of the first Arab countries affected by the disease, due to its proximity and good relations with Iran, with which it keeps the borders closed and prohibited the pilgrimages of the faithful from the neighboring country to the Shiite shrines of its territory.