Oman suspends Iran flights as first two cases of coronavirus is confirmed

Two Omani women diagnosed after travelling from Iran, where the virus has claimed the lives of 12 people

Oman’s General Authority of Civil Aviation announced the suspension with immediate effect. 

Oman has suspended all flights between the sultanate and Iran.

It comes after the first positive cases of coronavirus were diagnosed in the country – two Omani women who had travelled from Iran, which is battling the deadliest outbreak outside China.

The General Authority of Civil Aviation announced the suspension with immediate effect.

A statement from Oman’s Ministry of Health, said: “The Ministry calls upon everyone to adhere to the quarantine procedures for all travellers coming from countries where new cases of coronavirus have been registered and to avoid travelling to countries where cases of this virus have been registered unless absolutely necessary.”

On Monday three cases of coronavirus in Kuwait and one in Bahrain were discovered, all of whom had returned from Iran, where the virus has claimed the lives of 12 people.

Last week, Kuwait banned entry of all ships from the Islamic republic and suspended flights to and from the country.

Kuwait also banned non-citizens coming from Iran from entering the Gulf state and operated chartered flights to bring back hundreds of Kuwaiti Shiite pilgrims.

Also on Monday, Bahrain suspended flights from Dubai International Airport and Sharjah International Airport for a temporary period of 48 hours.

While Abu Dhabi authorities called on all UAE citizens “to not travel to Iran and Thailand at present and up until further notice” as part of its efforts to monitor and contain the disease.

UAE airlines have suspended most flights to China – where the virus first emerged in December – except to the capital Beijing, but have not yet taken any measures to restrict travel to and from Iran. Around half a million Iranians live and work in the UAE.

Two Gulf states – Saudi Arabia and Qatar – remain free of the virus, but all have suspended flights to China.

China’s death toll from the disease – officially known as COVID-19 – rose to nearly 2,600 on Monday, while the virus has now spread to more than 30 countries.

The World Health Organisation said on Monday that COVID-19 had “peaked” in China but warned the surge in cases elsewhere was “deeply concerning” and all countries should prepare for a “potential pandemic”.

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