Middle East, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Number of coronavirus cases in Qatar rises to 24

Health Ministry confirms 6 new virus cases

Serdar Bitmez   | 10.03.2020
Number of coronavirus cases in Qatar rises to 24

DOHA, Qatar 

Qatar's Health Ministry confirmed Tuesday six new cases of the coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 24.

"The infected are under complete quarantine at the Center for Communicable Diseases," the ministry said in a statement. 

Earlier Tuesday, the ministry banned shisha, or hookah smoking pipes, in restaurants and cafes, until further notice amid new measures to curb the virus.

The government announced Monday the suspension of classes in public and private schools and universities until further notice.

On Sunday, Qatar announced it temporarily banned the entry of travelers from 14 countries due to concerns over the novel coronavirus.

The ban includes Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria, and Thailand.

Qataris were also advised not to visit those countries unless it is absolutely necessary.

The global death toll from the coronavirus surpassed 4,000, with nearly 114,000 confirmed cases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The virus originated in China but has reached more than 100 countries, with the WHO saying Monday that the “threat of a pandemic has become very real.”

As part of efforts to contain the outbreak, some governments closed borders and suspended land and air travel with the worst-hit countries.

*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

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