Religious Pilgrimages Continue in Iraq Despite High COVID-19 Cases, Security Concerns

Worshipers in Iraq continue to take part in processions for the annual pilgrimage to commemorate the death of respected figure Imam al-Kadhim, despite fears on rising coronavirus cases.

Pilgrims disregarded Covid-19 protocols and crossed over barbed wires set up by authorities while on their way to the shrine of the Imam.

This, despite the health ministry reporting a record of 4,610 additional infections on Tuesday.

Iraq has extended its lockdown measures following the detection of the UK strain in the country, and will be imposing curfews which will also close non-essential shops at 8 pm.

Medical experts have also expressed concerns on the virus spreading during the recently-concluded first papal visit of Pope Francis to the country, which also drew thousands to see the pope and hear mass.

The country now has a total of 740,472 coronavirus cases with 13,645 deaths as of Wednesday.

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