Voice of America
Voice of America 12 May 2020

Mosques Reopen in Kurdish Region of Iraq After Coronavirus Lockdown



Mosques open their doors to worshippers in the northern Kurdish region of Iraq after months of closure.

Mosques and churches had been closed since March 3 to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

During that period worshipers longed for a chance to pray inside a mosque.

Masked worshippers sat, contrary to traditions, at considerable distance from one another.

Worshippers must observe a set of new rules dictated by the ministry of endowments.

The new rules include maintaining a distance of 1.5 meters during group prayer sessions.


It's now more than four months since the COVID-19 started spreading from Wuhan in China.
Although the pandemic hasn't stopped, some countries with falling infection rates are slowly easing lockdown restrictions.
Small shops and restaurants are reopening in a dozen countries across Asia, Europe and Africa.
Some school children are returning to class.
A few more domestic flights are taking off, and train services are increasing frequency.
What are the risks of a second wave of infections?
And how should we adapt to life post lockdown?

Presenter: Bernard Smith

John Nicholls - Clinical Professor in Pathology at the University of Hong Kong
Donna Dawson - Psychologist specialising in personality and behaviour
David Alexander - Professor of Risk and Disaster Reduction at University College London

Italian surfers return to the waves in Ladispoli, in the Rome region, where professional and amateur surfers are enjoying getting back to their sport after the nationwide coronavirus lockdown.
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One positive effect of the coronavirus pandemic has been on the environment. It's led to the biggest ever reduction in the volume of carbon dioxide released into the world's atmosphere.

At the height of the lockdown scientists say that daily emissions around the world dropped by almost a fifth. The biggest fall was in China, while in the UK carbon dioxide output was reduced by 13 per cent. But scientists are warning that the cuts in greenhouse gases are likely to be temporary.

Meanwhile in the United States, President Trump has been strongly criticised by health experts, after stating that he was taking an anti-malarial drug to protect himself against coronavirus. Regulators have warned there's no evidence that hydroxychloroquine provides any protection from Covid-19 and say it can cause heart problems.

Huw Edwards presents BBC News at Ten reports from Science Editor David Shukman and North America correspondent Nick Bryant.
The VW factory in Wolfsburg, Germany, was expected to turn out 1,400 cars in its first week after reopening. Production there had been temporarily halted by of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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