Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 30 May 2020

Coronavirus: Emiratis banned from travelling to Iran and Thailand

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation bans travel until further notice to 'ensure health and safety of UAE citizens'

Emiratis have been banned from travelling to Iran and Thailand after an outbreak of Covid-19.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation issued a notice on Monday saying the ban was put in place "to ensure the health and safety of UAE citizens" and to stop the spread of the new coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China.

It called on Emiratis to contact the UAE embassy in Iran and Thailand, or the ministry's call centre on 80044444 for more information.

The ban comes as Kuwait stopped all flights to Iran and reported that three people who had travelled to the country tested positive for coronavirus.

Last week, Kuwait began bringing back 750 of its nationals from Iran, where more than 50 people have died from Covid-19 in the city of Qom, reports say.

New cases have since been confirmed in Bahrain, Oman, Lebanon, Israel and Iraq. The Kuwaiti infections were linked to people returning from Mashhad, a Muslim pilgrim site in Iran.

Iran's semi-official Ilna news agency on Monday confirmed that the number of deaths from the virus, compared to infections, is higher in Iran than in any other country, including China and South Korea, countries where the outbreak is far more widespread.

More than 79,000 people have contracted coronavirus since the outbreak started in China's Wuhan province on December 31.

More than 2,400 people have died of the virus, which Chinese leader Xi Jinping described on Sunday as the "largest public health emergency" in China's history.

Most of the cases are in China but concerns of a global pandemic are rising as reports emerge of people testing positive in Europe and the Middle East.

Updated: February 25, 2020 03:58 PM

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