Qatar bans the entry of people arriving from 14 countries, including Iran, Lebanon, and Iraq, due to concerns over the novel coronavirus, according to a government statement.
The ban includes China, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria and Thailand. Qatar Airways had previously suspended flights to and from Italy.
Three new cases of the deadly coronavirus were confirmed in Qatar, the Ministry of Health announced, raising the total number of reported cases to 15 as of Sunday, Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported.
Qatar, which reported its first case on February 29 in a citizen who returned from Iran, had previously evacuated its citizens and Kuwait's from Iran as the virus has swept through the country quickly. Outside China, Iran has the most deaths reported from the virus.
The move come as airlines across the globe have suspended flights with countries hit particularly hard by coronavirus.
Today, Saudi Arabia announced its citizens and residents were barred from travel to nine coronavirus-hit countries. And yestereday, Iranian state-owned IranAir announced all flights to and from Europe had been suspended.
Countries are ramping up efforts across the world to protect citizens and have canceled sporting events and other large public gatherings, suspended schools, and encouraged people to avoid large gatherings.
While coronavirus is still considered an epidemic by the World Health Organization, at least one expert has said it has reached the threshold to be classified as a pandemic.
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