Iran Coronavirus Cases Surge to 245 as Saudi Arabia Limits Entry

Iran reported 87 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 245, the largest in the Middle East. The number of patients in Kuwait almost doubled.

Tehran province, which neighbors Qom the epicenter of the outbreak in the Middle East, had 37 new infections. The spike in cases is due to new testing laboratories, a spokesman for the health ministry said on state TV.

Twenty-six people have died in the country, the only one in the region to report fatalities. Morjaba Zonnour, an Iranian member of parliament representing Qom, has tested positive for the virus, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported.

Saudi Arabia took the rare step of suspending religious pilgrimages to the kingdom and limiting entry by tourists.

Saudi Arabia Halts Mecca Pilgrimages to Block Coronavirus

Kuwait reported a jump in cases to 43, from 26 previously, all of which are linked to Iran, while the United Arab Emirates started setting up a medical facility to quarantine patients. The U.A.E., which has suspended flights to Iran, has so far reported 13 cases. It hasn’t provided an update since Saturday.

Mideast breakdown:

  • Iran: 245 cases, including 26 deaths
  • Kuwait: 43
  • Bahrain: 33
  • U.A.E.: 13
  • Iraq: 5
  • Oman: 4
  • Israel: 1
  • Lebanon: 1

New Developments:

  • Emirates, which gets 60% of its Middle East revenue from Saudi Arabia,has to stop flying tourists from more than 20 countries to the kingdom.
  • GCC nationals traveling to and from Kuwait must now present a passport, according to the Ministry of Interior. National identity cards are no longer sufficient.
  • All vessels arriving to the U.A.E. must declare its crew are free from symptoms, according to a circular issued by the Federal Transport Authority. The country also suspended ferry services to and from Iran.
  • Israel will bar entry of foreign nationals arriving from Italy and has asked citizens to reconsider travel plans.

Click VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the coronavirus andhere for maps and charts. For analysis of the impact from Bloomberg Economics, clickhere.

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