Kuwait cancels all flights as Qatar coronavirus cases jump

Kuwait cancels all flights as Qatar coronavirus cases jump in global pandemic
2 min read
11 March, 2020
Kuwait has announced that it will suspend all commercial flights the coronavirus pandemic continues.
Kuwait is taking measures to protect residents from coronavirus [Getty]

Kuwait will suspend all commercial flights leaving from and arriving at Kuwait City International Airport "from Friday until further notice" to forestall the spread of coronavirus, state media reported Wednesday.

The country would also "forbid" its residents meeting in "restaurants, cafes and commercial centres", the Kuwait News Agency said.

Last month, Kuwait barred foreign ships, except those carrying oil, from departing to, or arriving from, several countries to prevent the spread of the disease.

Read also: A tale of two outbreaks: How Gulf countries succeeded where Iran failed on containing coronavirus

The country has previously cancelled all events to mark its National Day on 25 February in response to the coronavirus outbreak. It has also imposed flight restrictions to and from a number of country’s with confirmed cases.

Dramatic increase

Meanwhile, the number of confirmed novel coronavirus cases in Qatar jumped by 238 to 262 on Wednesday, the health ministry said, warning that they were likely a result of community transmission.

"The Ministry of Public Health announced today that it recorded 238 new confirmed cases of coronavirus 2019," the ministry said in a statement.

Qatar has not reported any fatalities but has closed universities and schools, cancelled many public events including the MotoGP and banned travellers from 14 countries entering the country.

Many of the initial cases diagnosed in Qatar were from a group of citizens and their foreign staff repatriated to the Gulf country from Iran.

Iran on Wednesday reported 63 new deaths from the novel coronavirus, the highest single-day toll in the three weeks since the Islamic republic announced the first deaths from the outbreak.

The outbreak of the coronavirus in Iran is one of the deadliest outside China, where the disease originated.

Iran is yet to officially impose quarantines but authorities have repeatedly called on people to refrain from travelling.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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