Iraq set to reopen land borders

World Grigory Matyunin 07-Sep-2020

Iraq is to reopen land border crossings to facilitate trade exchange. Also event halls and tourist facilities at five-star hotels will reopen, provided that health measures are in place. Some sporting events will be allowed but without spectators present, Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi said in a statement.

Government agencies can now bring back to work up to 50% of their employees, he said.

Iraq registered its biggest daily increase in coronavirus infections on Friday with 5,036 cases, the health ministry said, and 77 deaths, bringing the total number of cases to 264,684 and the total deaths to 7,589.

Kadhimi said the electoral commission would be allowed to open voter registration centres and that its employees would be exempt from curfew.

The prime minister took office in May as the third head of government in a chaotic 10-week period that followed months of unrest in a country exhausted by war with Islamist militants, corruption and economic decay.

He was appointed to head a government tasked with organising an early election, a main demand of anti-government protesters who staged months of mass demonstrations last year, and has called one, to be held in June.