Bahrain extends coronavirus flight ban to Dubai, Sharjah airports for 48 hours

Locals wear face masks to take precautions from coronavirus, as they shop at the Bahrain's Autumn Fair 2020, in Manama, Bahrain. (Reuters)

Bahrain extended by 48 hours its suspension of all flights arriving from Dubai and Sharjah airports from Wednesday as part of the kingdom's efforts to halt the spread of coronavirus.

The kingdom first banned flights from Dubai International Airport and Sharjah International Airport on Tuesday as it reported a rapid increase in the number of coronavirus cases. While most of the cases were travelers from Iran, which has the highest number of deaths from coronavirus outside of China, two of them had transited via Dubai.

Bahrain's Civil Aviation Affairs also announced it had "reduced the number of incoming regional flights" more generally "in order to safeguard the health of the Kingdom’s citizens and residents."

Coronavirus in Bahrain

Bahrain’s Ministry of Health had reported 33 cases of coronavirus in the country as of Thursday.

“Infected individuals were immediately transferred to Ebrahim Khalil Kanoo Community Medical Center for isolation and treatment following tests that confirmed they were carrying COVID-19, upon arrival at Bahrain International Airport via indirect flights from Iran,” Bahrain News Agency reported.

“All individuals in contact with the infected patients have also been quarantined as per preventive efforts.”

The ministry said that one of the newly confirmed cases is a Bahraini citizen who had returned from Iran before the country started confirming cases of coronavirus. The citizen, having presented COVID-19 symptoms, called the designated hotline and was quickly transferred to isolation for treatment.

Bahrain taking precautionary measures

Bahrain has announced several precautionray mesaures to combat the spread of coronavirus, including closing schools, a travel ban from Iran.

Bahrain suspended all private and public schools, universities, and nurseries across the kingdom for two weeks from Tuesday.

Bahrain will test all citizens and residents who traveled to Iran in February in an effort to control the spread of coronavirus, announced the Health Ministry on Wednesday, according to Bahrain News Agency.

The ministry provided a hotline for those who have been to Iran this month to schedule test appointments, noting that all citizens and residents must comply with the implementation of all instructions and preventative measures issued by the ministry to ensure the safety of everyone, Bahrain News Agency reported.

 

Coronavirus in UAE

The UAE was the first country in the Middle East region to announce any cases of coronavirus.

However, the outbreak has largely been kept under control, with only 10 cases, mainly Chinese tourists from Wuhan as well as an Iranian couple. UAE health officials reported that two of these cases had recovered.

Dubai suspended flights to Iran, except Tehran, on Tuesday.

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Last Update: 06:20 KSA 09:20 - GMT 06:20
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