A number of Gulf states have imposed flight restrictions as they try to deal with new cases of the coronavirus. Six new cases were confirmed in Bahrain bringing the total number of infections to eight.
Two Bahraini nationals, one male and one female, and four Saudi female who was travelling back from Iran tested positive for the virus upon their arrival in Bahrain International Airport Gulf, news agencies reported. They were immediately taken to a health centre where they are being quarantined and will be treated.
Bahrain’s health ministry is reported saying that the infected individuals had returned from a trip to Iran. Those accompanying the infected travellers were also quarantined as a precautionary measure after they tested negative for the virus.
The four Saudis infected with the virus will remain in Bahrain until they are cured, Saudi Arabia’s health ministry said.
The threat of the virus spreading has prompted Gulf states to cancel flights. The BBC reported that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) suspended all flights to and from Iran apart from Tehran. While Bahrain has suspended all flights to and from Dubai and Sharjah in the UAE until further notice.
Other Arab states have taken similar measures. Oman, Jordan, Kuwait, Iraq and Saudi Arabia have already suspended flights to Iran after numerous cases were detected there.
Oman also revealed that two new cases of the virus has been found bring the total number of those infected in the country to four.
Further concerns over the spread of the virus were raised today after Iran’s deputy health minister was reported saying that he had contracted the coronavirus and placed himself in isolation. He nevertheless, downplayed its spread and said mass quarantines were unnecessary.
The virus is believed to have infiltrated a main pilgrimage route on the Iranian shrine city of Qom. It is feared that the popularity of the site could lead to further outbreak.