LIVE: Middle East takes more precautions as world tackles coronavirus

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DUBAI: Governments in the Middle East have taken more precautionary measures to combat the spread of the new coronavirus, including travel restrictions, work and class suspensions, and quarantines.

Monday, March 9 (All times in GMT)

11:52 – Ismail Najjar, the head of Iran’s National Disaster Management Organization, was the latest coronavirus patient in Tehran, Al-Arabiya has reported.

11:50 – Egypt said that 12 coronavirus patients have recovered, while 43 others continue to receive treatment.

11:26 – UAE announces 14 new cases of coronavirus, including four Emiratis, three Italians, a Syrian and an Indian, among new cases of coronavirus, state news agency WAM reported.

10:52 – The Tokyo 2020 Olympics torch lighting ceremony would be held without spectators, Greek Olympic Committee announced.

10:45 – Iran state TV said new coronavirus has killed another 43 people, pushing death toll to 237 amid 7,161 confirmed cases.

10:40 – Saudi authorities announced that it would impose a fine of up to $133,000 on those who do not declare correct health-related information at entry points, Al-Arabiya news channel reported.

10:05 – Bahrain’s Ministry of Health said on Monday there were 24 new confirmed coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 95 infections.

10:01 – Iran has released approximately 70,000 prisoners because of the coronavirus outbreak in the country, Iranian judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi said on Monday, according to Mizan, the news site of the judiciary.
“The release of the prisoners, to the point where it doesn’t create insecurity in society… will continue,” he said.
Raisi did not specify if or when those released would need to return to jail.

10:00 – Qatar announced on Monday it was suspending schools and universities from Tuesday, March 10 to control the coronavirus outbreak, according to the state news agency.

09:45 – Iran’s former deputy of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Ferzad Tazari died of coronavirus, Al-Arabiya reported on Monday.

08:33 – Singapore will allow a cruise ship carrying about 2,000 people to dock after it was barred by Malaysia and Thailand over coronavirus fears, officials said Monday. The Costa Fortuna was turned away from the Thai holiday island of Phuket and the Malaysian state of Penang in recent days, despite having no suspected virus cases among its passengers and crew.

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08:32 – South Korea reported 96 new coronavirus cases on Monday, taking the country’s total infections to 7,478, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. The updated numbers added to the 69 recorded earlier in the day, showing the rate of increase slowed to its lowest in 11 days.

08:00 – The annual Arabian Travel Market (ATM) has been postponed until June 28 – July 1, 2020 amid coronavirus concerns – the exhibition was due to take place in Dubai in April.

The ATM is a major event that allows the travel and tourism industry to showcase plans for new hotels, flights and other tourism announcements.

07:45 – Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways announced on Monday it has temporarily suspended all flights between the UAE capital and Saudi Arabia, following a directive from the Kingdom’s General Authority for Civil Aviation, over fears of coronavirus.

07:30 – Kuwaiti Ministry of Health says it has 906 people quarantined so far amid coronavirus fears.

07:26 – Kuwait on Monday said it has recorded three further cases of coronavirus within the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 65 infections.

06:35 – Bahrain’s Gulf Air suspended all flights to and from Saudi Arabia until further notice. The carrier made the announcement on their twitter account.

Sunday, March 8 (All times in GMT)

23:56 – Saudi Arabia has announced four new cases of coronavirus, bringing total number of infections to 15.

The Ministry of Health said the new cases include a Saudi national, two Bahrainis and an American.

The Kingdom has also suspended travel for Saudi citizens and foreign residents to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Italy and South Korea.

This video explaining how COVID-19 transmits person to person was produced by the World Health Organisation

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