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Gulf states report first coronavirus cases, suspended flights to Iran

Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Kuwait said the condition of the Saudi citizen is stable and he is in no danger

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Dubai, 25 February (Arab News) : Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and Iraq reported their first cases of the China coronavirus on Monday as Gulf countries moved to stop an outbreak in Iran from spreading.
The infections spurred some GCC members to halt travel links with Iran and warn citizens not to travel to the country where authorities have been accused of covering up the scale of the outbreak.
Kuwait said it had diagnosed five cases including two female passengers arriving from the Iranian city of Mashhad, a 53-year-old Kuwaiti man, a 61-year-old Saudi citizen, and a 21-year-old stateless Arab.
The country also banned flights to and from Iraq, Italy, South Korea, and Thailand, according to Kuwait’s state news agency, KUNA.
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health said it was coordinating with Kuwaiti health authorities to treat the Saudi national, adding that the patient would remain in Kuwait until they were cured.
Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Kuwait said the condition of the Saudi citizen is stable and he is in no danger.
The statement also called on citizens to follow the instructions issued by the Kuwaiti health ministry and contact the embassy in the event of an emergency
Bahrain said two people had the virus diagnosed after arriving from Iran and traveling through Dubai.
The first patient “was transferred to the Ebrahim Khalil Kanoo Medical Centre for immediate testing, treatment, and isolation under the supervision of a specialized medical team,” Bahrain News Agency said. The school bus driver had worked on Sunday, dropping off children at schools, that were later closed down.
The second patient, a Bahraini woman was examined as she arrived at Bahrain International Airport having traveled through Dubai. Her husband and her sister-in-law, who was traveling with her tested negative for the virus but were also placed in quarantine.
Bahrain also suspended flights to and from Dubai International Airport and Sharjah International Airport for 48 hours, Bahrain News Agency said early Tuesday.
Oman’s health ministry said its first two cases are Omani women who had visited Iran. Oman TV said the women were in a stable condition, it added.
Oman suspended flights to and from Iran, the Public Authority of Civil Aviation (PACA) said.
At least 250 people arriving from countries affected by coronavirus were quarantined on suspicion of infection, Oman’s Minister of Health Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Saidi said.
Iraq, which on Monday also reported its first case of the virus has shut its Safwan border crossing with Kuwait to travelers and trade at Kuwait’s request, the local mayor said on Monday.

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