Honour infects: Conservative Iraqi families 'refusing quarantine' for coronavirus-positive daughters

Honour infects: Conservative Iraqi families 'refusing quarantine' for coronavirus-positive daughters
Citing 'dishonour' and 'shame', some conservative families in Iraq are refusing hospital quarantine for female relatives who tested positive for the coronavirus, according to reports.
2 min read
24 March, 2020
Twitter users condemned the trend using a hashtag that translates to "epidemic of ignorance" [Getty]
Conservative families in Iraq are reportedly preventing coronavirus-positive female relatives from being treated and quarantined in hospitals due to perceived "dishonour" and "shame", according to reports.

Doctors sought to quarantine a Baghdad woman who tested positive for COVID-19 last week, but her family intervened and prevented medical professionals from carrying out the measure, a medical professional who requested anonymity told Sputnik Arabic.

The family considered quarantine to be "dishonourable" and contrary to "customs and traditions" that do not allow women to stay out of their family home without a chaperone.

Ali Al-Bayati, a member of the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights, confirmed the existence of cases where families refused to let hospitals quarantine their daughters to preserve their "honour", according to reports.

Al-Bayati added that some families have even organised demonstrations outside hospitals that quarantine coronavirus patients.

Iraqi social media users have condemned the trend, with some using an Arabic-language hashtag that translates to "epidemic of ignorance".

A Twitter user reported an alleged incident in the Iraqi city of Najaf, when a family attacked health workers to stop them from quarantining their daughter. The family is also said to have accused the medical staff of wanting to rape her.

"God damn family honour," another user tweeted.

Local journalist Amer Ibrahim stated that there is a trend among Iraqi women to conceal their coronavirus-positive status.

Iraq reported 316 coronavirus cases and 27 deaths.

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