Anti-government protesters were distributing face masks amid fears of the novel coronavirus as hundreds of activists — many of them students — rallied in Basra on Thursday. They demonstrated against Iraq's political system demanding reform and measures against corruption.
«Our parties are the coronavirus so this epidemic does not scare us. We took all the preventing measures against the virus... Еще like hand gloves and masks. And we will continue until we bring the corrupt parties authority down,» said one of demonstrators.
Another activist who was helping protesters to sanitize their hands said: «We, as demonstrators, don't think that the coronavirus will affect us. We have been through a lot and the coronavirus is just another thing that will not stop us.»
Later on Thursday, the World Health Organisation reported that 34 cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed in Iraq. Two people are known to have died from the disease.
Anti-government protests began last October when thousands of Iraqis took to the streets of Baghdad to protest against corruption, lack of basic services and high unemployment.