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Mon 24 Feb 2020 06:18 PM

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UAE issues travel bans to Iran, Thailand over coronavirus fears

UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation issues ban on Monday following outbreaks of the new coronavirus

UAE issues travel bans to Iran, Thailand over coronavirus fears

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation issued details on Monday of a travel ban to Iran and Thailand following outbreaks of the new coronavirus, known as COVID-19.

The ministry said in a statement: "In light of the UAE's efforts to monitor and contain the spread of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, and in the interest of general public safety and health, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has issued a travel ban, calling on all UAE citizens to not travel to Iran and Thailand at present and up until further notice.

"UAE citizens currently in these countries are requested to contact the UAE Embassy or the Ministry's call centre on 800 44444, and register on the ministry's 'Tawajudi' service."

Separately, Oman reported its first two cases of COVID-19 and issues a travel ban to Iran.

Two Omani women who had returned from Iran were diagnosed with the disease and were in a stable condition, state TV reported.

The civil aviation authority said in a tweet that it was "suspending all civilian flights between the sultanate and the Islamic Republic of Iran starting today and until further notice".

Earlier on Monday, Dubai-based low-cost carrier Flydubai said it is continuing to schedule flights to and from Iran while Iraqi and Kuwaiti authorities have both banned travel to and from the country.

Iran has been scrambling to contain the COVID-19 outbreak since it announced the first two deaths in the holy city of Qom on Wednesday last week.

Iran's government vowed Monday to be transparent after being accused of covering up the deadliest coronavirus outbreak outside China, dismissing a lawmaker's claim the toll could be as high as 50.

The authorities in Iran have come under mounting public pressure since it took days for them to admit to "accidentally" shooting down a Ukrainian airliner last month, killing 176 people.

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