No vaccine, no salary: Halabja health directorate tells its employees

File – A Kurdish boy rides a bicycle in Halabja city. Sartep Othman/Esta Media Network

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The general directorate of health in Halabja said on Friday that employees who haven’t gotten coronavirus vaccines will not get paid, in an effort to encourage people to get vaccinated. 

“Any employee of the general directorate of health in Halabja who hasn’t received vaccines will not get paid,” director Azad Mustafa said in a statement.

The health official further said employees need to hold the COVID-19 vaccination card so as to get paid.

More than 652,000 people have received coronavirus vaccines across the Kurdistan Region, according to the Iraqi health ministry.

On Friday, the Region’s health ministry said it had registered 14 new COVID-19 cases in Halabja, bringing the total number of infections to 6,931.

Kurdish health officials have warned in the past few days that infection with COVID-19 is increasing in the Kurdistan Region, calling on people to follow health guidelines and get vaccinated.

On Oct. 17, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) called on citizens to follow medical guidelines and to receive COVID-19 vaccines as the virus still “poses a threat” to people’s lives.

As of Monday, the Kurdistan Region has recorded 354,981 coronavirus cases and 6,237 deaths, according to figures released by the KRG health ministry.

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