The leader of Iraq’s largest Christian community has issued an urgent plea for people to stay at home amid growing fears that the country cannot cope with a spiraling number of COVID-19 cases.

Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako said the country’s medical services, still shattered after the 2003 collapse of the Saddam Hussein regime, are already in crisis, with cases topping 5,000, according to Iraq’s federal authorities.

In an interview yesterday on May 28, with Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, the Patriarch states: “The situation with the virus is getting worse – it is not possible to control it.”

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