Shafaq News/ A "Ground Truth Solutions" (GTS) report said that Iraq is struggling to maintain a balance between enforcing necessary restrictions and reviving the economy even a year after diagnosing the first COVID-19 case.
"Nationwide lockdown measures, were extended in late October to curb the spread of the virus – and while infection rates have decreased, people across the country are struggling to make ends meet," the report said, "By 14 January 2021, there were 605,416 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Iraq and 12,915 deaths."
To find out how restrictions were affecting access to services and how people felt about the response, Ground Truth Solutions (GTS) partnered with the Iraq Information Centre (IIC) to conduct a third round of interviews with 545 returnees, refugees, and IDPs across al-Anbar, Duhok, Erbil, Nineveh, Saladin, and al-Sulaymaniyah in October and November 2020.
The Austrian organization deduced that:
People are very concerned about meeting their needs, accessing healthcare, and sending their children to school.
One-third of respondents who consulted a health professional during the pandemic were dissatisfied with the care they received.
Most people (80%) feel there are no silver linings to COVID-19. They are preoccupied with financial instability and deteriorating mental and physical health.
Over two-thirds of respondents (69%) are satisfied with the response to the pandemic, but less than half (44%) believe the authorities are equipped to handle future challenges.