Coronavirus outbreak: Iraq’s Airport denies entry to Chinese, Russia halts visa-free tourism

Iraq’s Erbil International Airport yesterday denied entry to three Chinese citizens over fears of the coronavirus outbreak. The three Chinese citizens were sent back to Dubai, from where they had flown to Iraq.

On Friday, the Basra airport decided to deny entry to all China-bound flights’ passengers over the spread of a new coronavirus strain. Iraq has not registered a single case of the viral infection.

Two more cases of novel coronavirus infection have been registered in Singapore, bringing the total number of those infected to 18. The 17th and 18th cases are two women, aged 31 and 47 who have both arrived from China’s Wuhan. Singaporean health authorities have recommended their citizens to refrain from visiting mainland China in general and the Hubei province, where Wuhan is located, in particular.

Russia’s government yesterday halted visa-free tourism for Chinese nationals and stopped issuing them work visas over the coronavirus. An order posted on the government website said the measures were to ensure the safety of the country, protect public health and prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.

Israel’s interior ministry yesterday said it is broadening border restrictions to bar entry to anyone who has visited China in the past two weeks. The ban covers air and seaports as well as land crossings from neighboring Jordan and Egypt. The order does not apply to Israeli citizens. Israelis who have been in China have been told to quarantine themselves at home for 14 days, even if they have no symptoms.

Poland has evacuated its citizens from Wuhan. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that none of the evacuees are suspected with coronavirus infection but will nonetheless undergo tests upon arriving in the country.

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