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UAE Will Evacuate its Citizens from Iran over Coronavirus

UAE Will Evacuate its Citizens from Iran over Coronavirus

Monday, 2 March, 2020 - 11:45
Security personnel wearing protective clothing check the temperature of commuters in Beijing, China, on January 27, 2020. (AFP)
Asharq Al-Awsat

The United Arab Emirates will evacuate its citizens from Iran amid the outbreak of the new coronavirus, reported the state news agency (WAM) on Monday.


The agency added that this step comes amid the spread of coronavirus in a number of countries, and all the returning people will be quarantined and checked to guarantee their safety.


Kuwait announced 10 new cases, bringing the total number to 56.


A ministry official, who was speaking during a news conference broadcast on state television, urged citizens to avoid gatherings to avoid spreading the virus in the Gulf state.


Oman banned entry of visitors from countries where coronavirus has spread, the foreign ministry said on Twitter on Monday, without specifying countries.


The ministry added that this comes as a precautionary procedure, and will be applied on all ports including land, sea and air.


In Bahrain, two oil and gas conferences, which were scheduled to take place this month, have been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.


The annual Middle East Petroleum and Gas Conference (MPGC), at which the region's oil traders meet, has been postponed to the second half of the year due to travel restrictions and health concerns, the organizers said on Monday.


Another energy conference, GEO 2020, which was due to be held on March 16-19, was postponed until Sept. 14-17.


Bahrain has reported 47 cases of the coronavirus infection.


Airlines have been suspending flights or modifying services in response to the outbreak.


Qatar’s health ministry said on Monday that medical tests had revealed four new cases of coronavirus infection in the country, state news agency QNA said in a tweet.


Two Qatari citizens, and two domestic workers who were accompanying them in travel, were diagnosed with COVID-19, the ministry was quoted as saying.


They were among a group of citizens who were evacuated by the government on a private plane from Iran on Feb. 27, the ministry said.


The majority of infections in other Gulf countries have been linked to visits to Iran or involve people who have come into contact with people who had been there. The only deaths reported so far in the region have been in Iran.


The pathogen is believed to have originated in a market that sold wild animals in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.


The World Health Organization (WHO) says the virus appears to particularly hit those over the age of 60 and people already weakened by other illness. It has a mortality rate ranging between two and five percent.


Infections are now rising faster abroad than in China, as the country's drastic measures, including quarantining some 56 million people in Hubei province since late January, appear to be paying off.


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