Coronavirus: Iraq bans entry of travellers from seven countries, including Singapore

Members of Iraqi medical team check passengers upon arrival from Iran at Baghdad international airport in Baghdad, Iraq, on Feb 24, 2020.
Members of Iraqi medical team check passengers upon arrival from Iran at Baghdad international airport in Baghdad, Iraq, on Feb 24, 2020.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

BAGHDAD (REUTERS) - Iraq indefinitely extended an entry ban on travellers from China and Iran, and instituted similar bans on travellers from Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Italy and Singapore, the health ministry said on Tuesday (Feb 25).

The entry ban is for travellers coming directly or indirectly from those counties, but exempts Iraqi nationals, diplomats and official delegations, the ministry said in a statement. It advised Iraqis not to travel to those countries.

Schools and universities are suspended for 10 days in Najaf, where the first case of coronavirus was reported on Monday, and citizens are urged to avoid travelling to and from the province.

Iran saw two more deaths from the virus on Tuesday, media website Eghtesaonline said, taking the toll in the Islamic Republic to 14. 

Iran currently has the highest tally of deaths outside China, where the virus emerged late last year. 

Iran’s state TV said a team from the World Health Organisation (WHO) would arrive in the country on Tuesday. 

On Monday, the health ministry said 61 people had been infected in Iran and that around 900 other cases were suspected.