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The New Arab

Gulf states increase travel restrictions to halt cononavirus spread

Airlines in the Middle East have cut flights amid coronavirus today [Getty]

Date of publication: 2 March, 2020

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The move follows efforts by Qatar to stop the spread of coronavirus to the Gulf state.
A number of Gulf states have imposed new travel restrictions to prevent the spread of the potentially deadly coronavirus, with flights grounded and residents told to avoid visits to certain countries.

Qatar announced on Monday is was barring all entry to travelers from Egypt, except for citizens, in a bid to stop the disease's spread, which is also known as COVID-19.

"As a public health measure, the State of Qatar has imposed a temporary entrance restriction to its territories on all those who are coming from Egypt through intermediate points," the Government Communications Office of Qatar told Al Jazeera on Sunday.

"The measure is temporary due to the spread of COVID-19."

Egypt had one case of coronavirus, discovered in mid-February, who has since recovered, according to health authorities, announcing on Sunday that 1,443 people have been tested for the disease.

On Sunday, Egypt reported another case of coronavirus after a tourist was tested positive with the disease and is reportedly being kept in isolation.

Algeria reported two more cases on Monday, bringing the total number of people infected by the coronavirus to three.

Oman announced on Monday is was barring direct flights to China and Iran, along with charter flights to Italy, according to Oman Observer.

Oman has reported six cases of coronavirus, two of whom have recovered.

Qatar confirmed two more coronavirus on Monday - Qatari citizens recently brought back from Iran - bringing the total number of infected to three.

Lebanon reported three more cases on Monday, bringing the total to ten.

Iran has been the epicentre for the virus in the region with the country reporting 978 cases and 54 deaths.

The pilgrim city of Qom has seen hundreds of people tested with coronavirus and with many cases in the region having connections with Iran.

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