Middle East, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Riyadh expands coronavirus travel ban to 5 more nations

List includes Oman, France, Germany, Turkey and Spain as disease globally infects 110,000 people

Ibrahim al-Khazin   | 09.03.2020
Riyadh expands coronavirus travel ban to 5 more nations

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia on Monday expanded the travel ban to include five new countries over fears of the novel coronavirus, according to Saudi Press Agency.

"The kingdom's government decided to suspend traveling of citizens and residents from and to Oman, France, Germany, Turkey and Spain," SPA said.

Monday's decision increased the number of banned countries on the list to 14.

On Sunday, Riyadh temporarily banned citizens and foreigners living in Saudi Arabia from traveling to the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, South Korea, Egypt, Italy and Iraq.

Arrivals from the 14 countries and those who have been there in the last 14 days have been temporarily barred from entering the country, while Saudi Arabia has also stopped flights and ships from these countries.

Saudi Arabia has so far reported 15 coronavirus cases.

The global death toll from the virus, known as COVID-19, is around 3,800, with some 110,000 confirmed cases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

After declaring the outbreak an international health emergency in January, the WHO last month updated the global risk level to very high.

*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

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