Qatar Airways to quarantine travelers from S. Korea, Iran with virus symptoms
Qatar Airways announced that it would quarantine any passengers arriving from Iran and South Korea who show symptoms of the deadly coronavirus.
The announcement came after the number of deaths from the deadly coronavirus in Iran jumped on Monday. The Iranian government said that 12 people were killed, but an Iranian MP representing the city of Qom said that 50 people had died from the virus in the city alone.
"In line with various global and local health warnings, all incoming passengers from Iran and South Korea whose final destination is Doha and are showing no symptoms of the Novel Coronavirus will be asked to stay in home isolation or a quarantine facility for 14 days," a statement from the airliner said.
Both countries have two of the highest rates of infection outside of China. In South Korea, a cult church produced a cluster of infections in the city of Daegu.
"Passengers arriving from those countries who are showing symptoms will be transferred to the Communicable Disease Centre at the Hamad Medical Corporation."
Coronavirus hits the Middle East
The virus began in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late December. It has since spread to countries across the globe, but until this week only minimal cases have been detected in the Middle East.
On Monday, Bahrain and Kuwait reported coronavirus cases, while Iran reported a jump in the number of deaths.
Bahrain said a man who traveled to the country from Iran had been infected, while Kuwait said that three people including a Saudi citizen had been infected. Saudi Arabia announced it is cooperating with Kuwait to treat the patient.
Earlier in the month, the UAE reported that an Iranian couple had tested positive for the virus while in the country.
Many regional countries reacted to the much bigger outbreak in Iran by closing borders and putting restrictions on travel, with Qatar Airways the latest airliner to announce it was quarantining passengers arriving from Iran and South Korea.