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Islamic State's advice for fighting coronavirus: 'Put your faith in God' Open in fullscreen

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Islamic State's advice for fighting coronavirus: 'Put your faith in God'

IS has lost most of the territory it once held across Iraq and Syria [Getty]

Date of publication: 13 March, 2020

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Keep calm and jihad on: Even the Islamic State group can't avoid COVID-19 panic, issuing guidelines to its remaining followers in its weekly newspaper.
It seems like even militant groups keeping a low profile in desert hideouts can't escape coronavirus panic.

The Islamic State group, despite their questionable hygiene credentials (think: public beheadings), have decided to follow the example of governments worldwide and issue their own set of guidelines to contain the spread of the virus.

Published in weekly newspaper al-Naba on Thursday, the guidelines stress that the COVID-19 virus is "at the command and decree of God," and only he can decide your fate.

Much of the advice echoes that being issued by other authorities, including staying away from those infected, washing hands and not travelling to places with confirmed cases.

However a significant emphasis is put on blind faith: such as "Put your faith in God and seek refuge in him".

Read more: Should Muslim Friday prayers be cancelled to fight coronavirus?

The militant group has lost virtually all of the territory it once held across Syria and Iraq, and is now confined to small pockets in the eastern Syrian desert.

Syria has so far not reported any COVID-19 cases, however its health authorities have been severely impacted by the civil war, and the authoritarian Assad regime may not have disclosed the full extent of the spread inside Syria.

Iraq has confirmed 79 cases so far, as authorities struggle to contain the virus that has ripped through neighbouring Iran, infecting thousands and killing hundreds.

Fears of the spread to Iraq's IDP camps - where many former IS members are being held - are especially high considering the dire conditions and chronic lack of sufficient medical resources.

Islamic State's COVID-19 guidelines [al-Naba]

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