04:40 GMT03 April 2020
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    DOHA (Sputnik) – Kuwait Airways said it had suspended flights to and from Iran over the outbreak of a new coronavirus in the Iranian city of Qom.

    “All flights to Iran have been suspended starting from today, until further notification in line with a recommendation of the Healthcare Ministry and civil aviation department over the confirmed cases of the new coronavirus”, the airline wrote on its Twitter page on late Thursday.

    Later on Thursday, the Kuwait Ports Authority (KPA) suspended the movement of passengers to and from Iran over the coronavirus.

    "This decision is a precautionary aiming to prevent a possible spread of the illness to passengers", the KPA said in a statement, as quoted by the KUNA news agency.

    The decision of the airline and the KPA followed the Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry’s recommendation for the country’s citizens to refrain from visiting Qom. All the people, who will arrive from Qom to Kuwait, will be quarantined.

    On Wednesday, media reported that two Iranian residents of Qom had died in Iran of the coronavirus. A member of the National Committee on Infection Diseases at the Iranian Health Ministry, Masoud Mardani, said that they had not had any contact with Chinese citizens or people who had visited China. Moreover, Iran confirmed three more cases of coronavirus in Qom and Arak, adding that 19 people were currently being tested for the virus.

    The novel coronavirus disease, dubbed COVID-19 by the World Health Organization (WHO), was first detected in the city of Wuhan, China's Hubei Province, in late December 2019 and has since spread to more than 25 other countries. The outbreak has already left over 75,000 people infected worldwide and resulted in more than 2,100 fatalities.

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