Coronavirus: Iraqi Kurdistan confirms first refugee camp case

The man has not been back to Darashakran camp for almost two weeks, but a full lockdown has been implemented as a precaution

In this Jan. 11, 2017 photo, Yazidi children walk carrying school books at the Kabarto camp for civilians displaced by war in Iraq. A new psychological trauma institute is being established at the university of Dohuk in Iraq, the first in the entire region. The program will train local mental health professionals to treat Islamic State victims, including thousands of Yazidi women and children. It will open at the end of the month. (AP Photo/Alice Martins)

Darashakran refugee camp has become the first camp in Iraqi Kurdistan to report a coronavirus case among one of its residents and was placed under quarantine on Sunday.

The Kurdistan Regional Government’s health ministry announced two new cases of coronavirus in Erbil province on Sunday, one of which is a 32-year-old man from the camp, Kurdish media network Rudaw reported.

It also reported that the man had left the camp to work almost two weeks ago and had not returned since, however, the site's management had placed it under strict lockdown.

In a post in a Facebook group for the camp's residents, they were told that it is "strictly forbidden" to leave their homes on Monday. 
"You must not go out of your homes for any reason, shops are forbidden to open and any violation of this will have "hard action" taken against it," it said. 
Darashakran camp is about 50 kilometres to the north of Erbil city, and it accommodates over 13,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war, according to World Health Organisation figures.

Iraqi Kurdistan has reported 347 Covid-19 cases and four deaths. The KRG has implemented a 6pm to 12am curfew, with only health professionals and security forces to move between those times, that is set to be in place until at last least May 1.

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