A commuter looks through a water-stained window wearing a mask and gloves to help guard against the Coronavirus, on a public bus in downtown Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. (AP)

February 29, 2020

Governments in the Middle East renewed warnings for citizens and residents against traveling to coronavirus-hit countries, including Iran, where hundreds were tested positive and the death toll hitting 43 on Saturday.

13:00 – Iran’s death toll from the coronavirus outbreak has reached 43, a health official told state TV on Saturday, adding that the number of infected people across the country has reached 593.

“Unfortunately nine people died of the virus in the last 24 hours. The death toll is 43 now. The new confirmed infected cases since yesterday is 205 that makes the total number of confirmed infected people 593,” Kianush Jahanpur told state TV.

12:48 – Oman announced the first case of coronavirus recovery, the state news agency ONA reported on Saturday.

The remaining cases continue to receive treatments and are reported to be stable.

12:39 – Iran’s government spokesman will hold his weekly news conference online due to the outbreak of coronavirus in the country, which has the highest death toll outside China, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported on Saturday.

Iran warned on Friday of a “difficult week ahead” after health authorities said the death toll had reached 34 and another 388 people were infected with the coronavirus.

11:31 – Saudi Arabia called on citizens and residents to postpone unnecessary travel to Lebanon amid concerns over coronavirus.

The Saudi embassy in Lebanon also asked its citizens, located in the Levantine country, to take precautions, avoid crowded places and reach out to the embassy whenever they need help.

Lebanon confirmed its fourth case of the virus on Friday and announced that it was closing all schools until March 8.

10:16 – Kuwait also asked its citizens to avoid traveling over concerns of coronavirus contamination, a health ministry official said at a media conference on Saturday.

The Gulf state has not registered any new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, she said.

The total number of people infected with the disease in Kuwait is 45, the health ministry said on Friday, which has reported no deaths.

9:51 – Australia will deny entry to all foreign nationals traveling from Iran due to the escalating outbreak of coronavirus in the Islamic republic, the government said on Saturday.

Foreign nationals traveling from Iran to Australia would need to spend 14 days in another country from March 1, Health Minister Greg Hunt said.

“There is likely at this stage a high level of undetected cases and therefore those cases won’t be intercepted or identified on departure from Iran,” Hunt said.

Australian citizens and permanent residents returning from Iran would be required to self-isolate for 14 days and the travel advice for Australians traveling to Iran has been raised to “do not travel.”

Health authorities on Saturday confirmed the number of cases of coronavirus in Australia was 25 after a 63-year-old woman returning from Iran became ill.

Iran has the highest death toll from the flu-like virus outside of China at 34, although World Health Organization (WHO) experts say the outbreak in the country could be worse than is currently known.

The rapid spread of the coronavirus has fueled fears of a pandemic, with multiple countries reporting their first cases this week as the WHO raised its global risk alert to “very high.”

Reuters

About Track Persia

Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.