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The New Arab

Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Jordan record first coronavirus cases

Coronavirus is named after the crown-like shape of the cells [Getty]

Date of publication: 2 March, 2020

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Three more Arab countries have recorded cases of the potentially deadly coronavirus.
Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Tunisia reported their first cases of novel coronavirus on Monday, the latest Arab countries to see an outbreak of the potentially deadly disease.

Jordan and Tunisia reported that those who had tested positive for the coronavirus had entered via Italy, the country in Europe with the highest number of cases of the disease.

Saudi Arabia announced that its case was a national who had arrived to the kingdom from Iran via Bahrain.

Jordan's Health Minister Saad Jaber told a press conference that the citizen had entered the kingdom from Italy with his family two weeks ago and has tested positive for the disease. 

The Jordanian is being kept in an isolation ward while a second suspected case is also being investigated.

Read also: Applying essential oil to anus 'cures coronavirus': Iranian cleric

Jaber said that if the kingdom records 20 cases of coronavirus then all schools will close and public gatherings banned. 

Tunisia's ministry of health reported its first case on Monday, saying the patient came from Italy.

Meanwhile, Lebanon has now diagnosed 13 people with the disease, while Algeria, Qatar and Egypt reported new cases over the weekend.

Iran has been the epicentre of coronavirus in the Middle East region, with most of the cases in neighbouring Arab countries originating from there.

The UK, France and Germany announced on Monday it was providing a 5 million euro package to help Iran combat the disease.

Read more: How the Middle East is dealing with coronavirus

At least 66 people have died from the new coronavirus in Iran with more than 1,000 cases confirmed.

Arab countries have enacted strict travel restrictions on citizens visiting certain hotspots, including Iran and China.

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