March 9, 2020 / 6:18 PM / 22 days ago

Iraq calls on citizens to avoid visiting sacred cities and sites

FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a protective face mask, following an outbreak of the new coronavirus, walks near the gate of Shalamcha Border Crossing, after Iraq shut a border crossing to travellers between Iraq and Iran, March 8, 2020. REUTERS/Essam al-Sudani

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq has banned all public gatherings and called on citizens to avoid visiting sacred cities and sites to stop the spread of the coronavirus, an official statement said on Monday.

Authorities also called on Iraqis arriving from Iran, China, South Korea, Italy, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Kuwait and Bahrain to stay at home for self-quarantine for 14 days, the statement said.

Reporting by Ulf Laessing and Nayera Abdallah; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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