Skip to main content

Iraq records first omicron cases

Five cases were confirmed in Dohuk province and an unknown number of infections were recorded among foreign diplomats in Baghdad.
SAFIN HAMED/AFP via Getty Images

Iraq has detected its first cases of the omicron variant of the coronavirus, the health ministries in both the central government and Kurdish region said Thursday. 

The Iraqi Ministry of Health said five cases were discovered in the northern province of Duhok in Iraqi Kurdistan. An unknown number of foreign diplomats in the capital Baghdad also tested positive, the ministry said. 

Saman Barzinji, the Kurdistan Regional Government’s health minister, told reporters that the Dohuk infections were recorded within one household after a family member returned home from abroad. Barzinji said the members of the family were not vaccinated, according to Iraqi Kurdish news outlet Rudaw.

Iraq announced 665 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, bringing the country’s total number of infections to more than 2 million since the start of the pandemic. Three more deaths were recorded, raising the death toll to 24,194. 

The variant, which was first detected in South Africa, prompted a fresh round of travel restrictions and border closures in the Middle East in late 2021. According to the World Health Organization, 128 countries reported cases of omicron before the holiday period. 

Barzinji urged residents of Iraq’s Kurdish region to get vaccinated. According to Reuters data, Iraq has administered at least 14.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, enough to have vaccinated about 18% of the country’s population.

Join hundreds of Middle East professionals with Al-Monitor PRO.

Business and policy professionals use PRO to monitor the regional economy and improve their reports, memos and presentations. Try it for free and cancel anytime.

Free

The Middle East's Best Newsletters

Join over 50,000 readers who access our journalists dedicated newsletters, covering the top political, security, business and tech issues across the region each week.
Delivered straight to your inbox.

Free

What's included:
Our Expertise

Free newsletters available:

  • The Takeaway & Week in Review
  • Middle East Minute (AM)
  • Daily Briefing (PM)
  • Business & Tech Briefing
  • Security Briefing
  • Gulf Briefing
  • Israel Briefing
  • Palestine Briefing
  • Turkey Briefing
  • Iraq Briefing
Expert

Premium Membership

Join the Middle East's most notable experts for premium memos, trend reports, live video Q&A, and intimate in-person events, each detailing exclusive insights on business and geopolitical trends shaping the region.

$25.00 / month
billed annually

Become Member Start with 1-week free trial

We also offer team plans. Please send an email to pro.support@al-monitor.com and we'll onboard your team.

What's included:
Our Expertise AI-driven

Memos - premium analytical writing: actionable insights on markets and geopolitics.

Live Video Q&A - Hear from our top journalists and regional experts.

Special Events - Intimate in-person events with business & political VIPs.

Trend Reports - Deep dive analysis on market updates.

All premium Industry Newsletters - Monitor the Middle East's most important industries. Prioritize your target industries for weekly review:

  • Capital Markets & Private Equity
  • Venture Capital & Startups
  • Green Energy
  • Supply Chain
  • Sustainable Development
  • Leading Edge Technology
  • Oil & Gas
  • Real Estate & Construction
  • Banking

Start your PRO membership today.

Join the Middle East's top business and policy professionals to access exclusive PRO insights today.

Join Al-Monitor PRO Start with 1-week free trial