Sweden health officials call to ban flights from Iran over coronavirus fears

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Swedish health officials on Monday urged aviation authorities to ban flights from Iran over coronavirus fears, saying Tehran was “not in control” of the outbreak on its soil.

Sweden has 14 confirmed cases of the virus, including six who traveled to Iran, where the outbreak has rapidly ballooned.

The Middle Eastern country has reported 1,501 cases, including 66 deaths in total.

On Monday, Sweden’s public health agency urged the country’s transport authority to review flight permits from Iran to curb the virus’ spread.

“To continue to take in large groups of passengers from Iran under present circumstances would severely complicate the work to limit the spread of COVID-19,” Johan Carlson, director of the Public Health Agency of Sweden, said in a statement.

Iran travel ban infographic 02/03/2020_Updated
Iran travel ban infographic 02/03/2020_Updated

It added that “responsible authorities in Iran are not in control of the situation” and it feared the spread of the virus in Sweden.

A spokeswoman for the transport agency said it would look into the matter and would likely announce a decision later Monday.

Iran Air is currently the only carrier offering direct flights between Sweden and Iran, with a weekly flight to Gothenburg and two flights a week to Stockholm.

Sweden’s foreign ministry last week advised against all non-necessary travel to Iran.

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