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Tue 25 Feb 2020 08:18 AM

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Bahrain orders temporary suspension of flights from Dubai and Sharjah

Bahrain said it is looking to contain deadly coronavirus after first case discovered on Monday

Bahrain orders temporary suspension of flights from Dubai and Sharjah

Bahrain announced its first case on Monday and shut three schools when a man, who had transported children to the institutions, tested positive after returning from Iran on February 21 via Dubai airport, the health ministry said.

Bahrain has suspended all flights from Dubai International Airport and Sharjah International Airport.

The Civil Aviation Affairs (CAA) in the kingdom announced the suspension on Monday night for a period of 48 hours, effective immediately, in a bid to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

Bahrain announced its first case on Monday and shut three schools when a man, who had transported children to the institutions, tested positive after returning from Iran on February 21 via Dubai airport, the health ministry said.

A statement on the Bahrain News Agency website said: “All arrivals to Bahrain International Airport suspected of infection will be tested and, if found to be suffering from the condition, are immediately transferred to designated centres for isolation and treatment.”

It added that Bahraini residents who are currently in areas affected by the coronavirus and who are planning to return to the kingdom, should call +973 17227555.

Iran's confirmed death toll rose to 12 on Monday, with the government promising transparency and dismissing a lawmaker's claim the toll could be as high as 50.

Over half of Bahrain's population of under one million are Shiites, who also travel frequently to Iran.

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.

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 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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