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Soldiers were deployed on to the streets of Baku and other cities in Azerbaijan on Friday, to police renewed restrictions on movement aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus, reports AFP.
The military deployment came as the numbers of new coronavirus infections were accelerating in the oil-rich Caucasus nation of some 10 million people. “Army units are taking part in patrols which oversee the implementation of a special quarantine regime,” the defence ministry’s spokesman, Vagif Dargyahly, told France’s official news agency.
The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Iraq increased sevenfold in June, the International Rescue Committee said as it urged a redoubling of efforts to contain the spread of the disease in the country.
By 1 July there had been 53,708 infections detected in the country, up from 6,868 on 1 June. The ministry of health has announced that hospitals are almost at full capacity, and that schools and universities will be converted into isolation units to cope with the surging caseload.
The rate at which Covid-19 is spreading through Iraq is extremely alarming. We’re seeing more than a thousand new cases confirmed each day – sometimes more than 2,000 – and it is showing no signs of slowing down. Although tens of thousands of people are suffering because of the disease itself, there are many more whose lives and livelihoods have been affected indirectly as well. People have lost their jobs and are struggling to find the money to even buy bread. They’re eating less, spending their savings and going into debt.
Humanitarian agencies are working hard to provide emergency cash assistance to those most in need, but it is not a long-term solution. As more and more people return to their daily lives, it is imperative that they are able to protect themselves and others, and the most effective way this can be done is through reinforcing public health messaging. Raising awareness among communities on the effect that social distancing and regular hand washing can have will go a long way to helping to bring the disease under control. We are re-doubling our efforts in this regard and are urging everyone in Iraq to follow the recommendations to wash their hands, practice social distancing, limit contact with others and self-isolate if they have symptoms.