İrem UZUN -TDO- Iraq has revoked Reuters news agency's reporting licence for three months after it reported the number of new coronavirus cases in the country was in the thousands, much higher than official figures. Iraq's Communications and Media Commission (CMC) condemned the reporting, calling it "astonishing" in a statement.
In its report, released on Thursday, Reuters cited Iraqi doctors, politicians and health officials as saying that the country had thousands of confirmed cases of Covid-19, many times more than the 772 publicly reported. Three doctors working in pharmaceutical teams helping test suspected coronavirus cases in Baghdad said that, based on their discussions with fellow medics, there had instead been between 3,000 and 9,000 cases confirmed. A health ministry official working in testing for the virus also said there were more than 2,000 confirmed cases from eastern Baghdad alone, while a political official - who Reuters said had attended meetings with the health ministry - also said thousands of cases were confirmed.
The health ministry said it had the right to take "legal action to protect Iraqi citizens from such deliberate misinformation". It added that the agency was fined $20,000 and asked to apologize due to the story, which has "put social security at risk.”