Coronavirus COVID-19 is producing a wave of air and sea route suspensions in the Middle East, especially between the Arab countries and Iran, but has also begun to affect travel with Italy, South Korea, Thailand and other countries where the disease is impacting.
Several days after the Arab countries began to interrupt direct travel with Iran, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which has one of the world’s main air transport nodes in Dubai, decided today to join the list and suspend flights that they connect their cities with those of the Persian nation.
“The General Civil Aviation Authority suspends all flights to and from Iran … from today and for a week, in the framework of the preventive measures of the Emirates to deal with the coronavirus,” the authority said today. in a statement released by the Emirati state agency WAM.
Last night Kuwait decided to suspend flights with Italy, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore and Japan becoming the first Arab country to interrupt transport with the European nation.
The Kuwaiti authorities had already closed the routes with China and Iran, as well as with its neighbor Iraq, with which it has an intense commercial relationship and where coronavirus cases are beginning to grow.
For its part, the Foreign Ministry of Bahrain said in its Twitter account that it decided “to prohibit its citizens from traveling to Iran until further notice due to the spread of the coronavirus”, after six positive cases of the virus in Barein and Saudi were registered They came from Iran.
The patients stopped in Dubai and landed at the international airport of Bahrain and this morning the Civil Aviation Authority of Bahrain has gone even further and announced the suspension of flights with the Emirates airports of Dubai and Sharjah for a period of 48 hours.
The Gulf Air flag airline announced that it will not fly to these Emirates airports.
The state news agency BNA also reported that the registered cases of coronavirus in the kingdom amounted to eight, all of them from people from the Islamic Republic.
Interruptions in communications also affect maritime transport in one of the busiest regions in the world and vital for the transport of hydrocarbons.
In Oman, the Marafi company that operates the port of Jasab, announced the suspension of “import and export operations through Iranian ships” in that port as of February 26.
Last Sunday Kuwait also closed its ports to ships from Iran, in an attempt to isolate its maritime terminals from the risk of infection.
The Kuwait Ministry of Health noted that eight people who traveled to Iran recently tested positive for the coronavirus test, while Iraq also confirmed that, so far, there are five infected in Najaf (south) and Kiruk (center), all of them Arrivals from your Persian neighbor.
Already Jordan, Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Iraq and Kuwait have suspended flights with Iran. Qatar continues volandom but Qatar Airways has informed that all passengers from Iran and South Korea bound for Doha must remain at their homes for 14 days.
The origin of the virus was located in the Chinese town of Wuhan and since then there have been 77,658 infected and 2,663 deaths, according to the National Health Commission of the Asian country.