Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi inaugurated on Sunday a hospital for COVID-19 patients.
Al-Ataa hospital, located in Sadr City east of Baghdad, has been equipped and prepared by Al-Sadr Movement’s Saraya al-Salam brigades.
Kadhimi hailed the brigades’ efforts to rehabilitate the hospital, which has 325 beds, to meet the capital's medical needs as coronavirus infections continue to surge.
First Deputy Speaker Hassan al-Kaabi, who took part in the inauguration ceremony, called on the government to make serious steps and exploit all uninhabited lands and government sites by transforming them into quarantine facilities.
Kaabi, who heads the parliament’s coronavirus crisis cell, stressed the importance of ensuring that the hospital is equipped with the most developed medical devices to serve as a model for health sector support initiatives and provide a great service to treat and quarantine those infected with the COVID-19 disease.
He also revealed a draft law to consider all medical staff who die from coronavirus complications as martyrs, as an appreciation of their heroic roles in dealing with the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Minister of Planning Khalid Najem said his country has been exploring means of benefiting from India’s experience to address the coronavirus.
Following his meeting with India’s ambassador to Baghdad on Sunday, Najem’s office issued a statement indicating that both officials discussed the “possibility of providing Iraqi hospitals with Indian nursing staff, with high qualifications.”
They also discussed increasing the volume of Indian investments in Iraq in various development sectors and taking advantage of the investment opportunities available in these sectors.
In other news, the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights (IHCHR) warned on Saturday of a humanitarian catastrophe in detention centers and prisons in Iraq.
Thamer al-Shammari, member of the IHCHR, called on the Iraqi government and competent authorities, to urgently intervene, follow up and take the necessary preventive and health measures in all detention centers and prisons.
This comes in light of reports received by the Commission’s teams, indicating coronavirus infections among inmates.
Shammari stressed the need to address the problem of overcrowded prisons, urging relevant authorities to ensure all the preventive measures are taken to spread the outbreak.