France to withdraw all troops from Iraq due to coronavirus outbreak

A close-up of a France's flag patch worn by French troops in Africa's Sahel region as part of the anti-insurgent Operation Barkhane in Inaloglog, Mali, October 17, 2017. (File photo: Reuters)
Short Url
Updated 26 March 2020

France to withdraw all troops from Iraq due to coronavirus outbreak

PARIS: France will withdraw its contingent of troops from Iraq, mostly trainers to local armed forces, because of the coronavirus pandemic, the chief of staff said on Wednesday.
France has around 200 military personnel working in Iraq either as trainers or in the headquarters of coalition forces in Baghdad.
"In coordination with the Iraqi government, the coalition has decided to adjust its deployments in Iraq and provisionally suspend training activities," it said in a statement.
The UK defence ministry had already announced some of its troops would come home, citing a "reduced requirement for training" Iraqi security forces.
Iraq's military had halted all training in early March to minimise the risk of the illness spreading among its forces, including from the US-led coalition helping fight remnants of the Islamic State group.


Dubai ambulance service launches ‘Self Sanitization Walk’ to protect paramedics

Updated 3 min 40 sec ago

Dubai ambulance service launches ‘Self Sanitization Walk’ to protect paramedics

DUBAI: The Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services has launched the first ‘Self Sanitization Walk’ as a safeguard against viruses that its paramedics may pass on to their colleagues and families.

The new device helps paramedics safeguard themselves from any infection that their clothes may catch during the course of working with confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19, WAM state news agency reported.

The ‘Self Sanitization Walk’ has been installed at the entrance of the accommodation facility of Dubai Ambulance’s field workers, along with thermal screening equipment.

The ‘Self Sanitization Walk’ sprays workers with a mist that disinfects clothes in less than 20 seconds. By detecting movements automatically, the device starts spraying only when a person passes through it, helping to save on energy. The device also has hand sanitizers.

“To ensure the safety of the community and the protection of frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19, we developed this innovative equipment, the first to be installed in the country. By efficiently sterilizing their clothes and shoes, the ‘Self Sanitization Walk’ allows paramedics and other staff to gain an additional level of protection,” Dubai Ambulance’s Executive Director Khalifa Aldrai said.

“The new device, developed in collaboration with SFFECO Global, enables health workers to perform their duties with a high level of safety.”

CAFU, the region’s first on-demand fuel delivery app, meanwhile said it will provide all ambulances operated by the Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services with free fuel for a period of two weeks.

CAFU’s 180 trucks will deliver petrol on-demand to the corporation's fleet of ambulances that operate in over 100 locations across Dubai, bringing contactless fuel delivery to frontline health workers and eliminating the need for them to go to a petrol station.