ERBIL — The Iraqi government is planning to suspend the salary payment of the employees who refuse to take COVID-19 vaccines, according to an official.
Iraq is now struggling with a fast spreading new wave of COVID-19 after it saw a rapid rise in the daily infections last week.
Hamid Majid, a spokesperson for the Council of Ministers in Baghdad, said a previous decision by the high Committee for National Health, approved by PM Mustafa al-Kadhmi, has obliged all government employees to take the jabs unless for special medical conditions.
“Any employee refusing to receive the vaccine will be considered to be on an unpaid leave by its relevant ministry,” Majid explained without elaborating if the decision is effective immediately or the employees will be given a specific period of time to apply for vaccines.
On Sunday alone, Iraq recorded 2,364 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases up to 2.36 million. A total of 25,243 people have so far died from the virus in Iraq.
According to the latest updates, 7.61 million Iraqis are so far fully vaccinated, which makes 18.9% of the total population.