By Gavin Gibbon
More coronavirus cases also reported in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Lebanon and Bahrain
A 16-year-old pupil of an Indian school in Dubai has become the 28th confirmed case of coronavirus in the UAE.
According to reports, the girl contracted the virus from a family member who had recently returned from a trip overseas, showing symptoms five days after landing back in the emirate.
Dubai Health Authority said both the teenager and her family are currently in quarantine in hospital, where their condition is described as “stable”.
Tests are being carried out on pupils at the unnamed school, as well as staff and others who may have come into contact with the student.
A statement from the authority said: “DHA has adopted stringent pro-active precautionary measures to ensure the health, safety and well-being of all school pupils and their families. In co-ordination with the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, we have issued instructions for classes in the school to be suspended.
On Wednesday, the UAE’s Education Ministry announced that the spring holiday will start earlier, and all public and private schools and higher education institutions across the country will close for four weeks, starting Sunday.
As well as the additional case in the UAE, there were further reports of the deadly coronavirus across the Middle East, with Saudi Arabia announcing its second case, which was linked to the first revealed earlier this week - a Saudi citizen who had entered the kingdom via Bahrain, but did not alert authorities at the port about his presence in Iran.
Three more cases were confirmed in Oman, taking the total number to 15, two of whom were Iranian and one Omani. All cases are related to travel to the Islamic Republic, where there have been almost 3,000 cases and 92 deaths.
Three further cases have been reported in Bahrain and two in Lebanon.
Meanwhile, Kuwait’s Ministry of Education has announced that thermometers will be distributed in schools across the country as part of measures to counter the virus spread.