Doha: Qatar has temporarily suspended entry of travellers from 14 countries, including India, South Korea, Egypt and Iran, as a precautionary measure against the spread of coronavirus disease, officially known as COVID-19.
An advisory by Qatar’s government communications office uploaded on its website states: “In addition to Qatar Airways announcement regarding flights to and from Italy, entry to the State of Qatar is temporarily suspended for all those intending to travel from certain countries, as of March 9, 2020.”
“The decision comes as a preventive measure due to the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) worldwide,” the statement read.
The temporary suspension of entry to Qatar also takes Bangladesh, China, Iraq, Lebanon, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Syria and Thailand under its ambit.
In addition, the advisory also denies “all individuals intending to enter from these countries, including visas upon arrival, those with a residence or work permit, and temporary visitors.”
“The State of Qatar urges all citizens and residents to avoid all but essential travel at this time,” it added.
The communications office further noted that the precautionary measures may be subject to further updates based on the latest guidance of the national health authorities and international organisations on the spread of coronavirus, in order to ensure the safety of all residents of the country.
Confirmed cases of coronavirus in Qatar
As of Saturday, Qatar’s Health Ministry confirmed a new case infected with the novel virus, raising the total number of cases in the country to 12.
A ministry statement said that the new case is a Qatari national who had returned from Iran, and that he was placed under quarantine upon returning to home soil.
The coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, China, last December and has now spread to more than 100 countries across the globe. The global death toll is nearing 3,800, with more than 103,000 confirmed cases.