The Iraqi government has decided to impose a 14-day quarantine on those evacuated from India to ensure that they were not infected with the new double mutant Covid19 variant identified in the South Asian country. Ryadh Abdul-Amir, head of the Public Health Department in the Iraqi Health Ministry, told the media on Saturday that the first batch of evacuees would be quarantined in a hotel in eastern Baghdad and tested and monitored by medical teams for 14 days before leaving, reports Xinhua news agency.
He said the Health Ministry registered 82 cases among the first evacuees from India, all of whom did not show symptoms.
The announcement comes as the Iraqi authorities are evacuating hundreds of Iraqi citizens stranded in India after Iraqi Airways announced on April 27 that it had cancelled all direct flights to India.
Authorities confirmed that more emergency evacuation flights would be arranged by Iraqi Airways for the rest of the stranded citizens.
Meanwhile, the ministry reported 4,608 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, raising the total tally to 1,108,558.
It also reported 39 new fatalities, raising the death toll to 15,741, while the total recoveries in Iraq climbed to 998,626.
A total of 9,639,337 tests have been carried out across the country since the outbreak of the disease in February 2020.
Iraq has taken a series of measures to curb the recent rise in infections.
The Iraqi National Board for Selection of Drugs has approved the emergency use of the Sinopharm, AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, and Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccines.