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PMU pitches in as COVID cases surge in Iraq

Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units, including those of populist cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr, have plugged gaps in Iraq’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic as cases surge and well-known fighters fall ill.
Iraqi volunteers with the Aqiq Institution for Charity work on building a 525-bed field hospital at the Baghdad International Fair exhibition center in the capital Baghdad, on June 21, 2020, a facility the association is setting up as part of the efforts to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP) (Photo by AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP via Getty Images)

Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) have rehabilitated a hospital, buried victims, sprayed public places with disinfectant and delivered oxygen in recent weeks as part of the nationwide efforts against the COVID-19 pandemic.

From a few dozen recorded deaths per day on June 11 to almost 100 per day a month later, COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the country amid worsening poverty, unemployment and financial hardship.

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