UAE has issued travel bans to Iran, Thailand over coronavirus fears
The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has issued a travel ban to Iran and Thailand following outbreaks of the new coronavirus, known as COVID-19.
The ministry said in a statement: "In light of the UAE's efforts to monitor and contain the spread of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, and in the interest of general public safety and health, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has issued a travel ban, calling on all UAE citizens to not travel to Iran and Thailand at present and up until further notice.
"UAE citizens currently in these countries are requested to contact the UAE Embassy or the Ministry's call centre on 800 44444, and register on the ministry's 'Tawajudi' service."
Oman reported its first two cases of COVID-19 and also issuesd a travel ban to Iran. The authorities identified two Omani women who had returned from Iran and were diagnosed with the disease.
The civil aviation authority said in a tweet that it was "suspending all civilian flights between the sultanate and the Islamic Republic of Iran starting today and until further notice".
The UAE has banned flights to all cities in Iran for a week in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus. However, WAM reports that this ban could be extended.
Iran has so far confirmed 12 deaths and about 60 confirmed cases due to coronavirus and has been trying to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.
Iran's government vowed Monday to be transparent after being accused of covering up the deadliest coronavirus outbreak outside China, dismissing a lawmaker's claim the toll could be as high as 50.
The authorities in Iran have come under mounting public pressure since it took days for them to admit to "accidentally" shooting down a Ukrainian airliner last month, killing 176 people.