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Last Updated : Mar 14, 2020 09:08 AM IST | Source: PTI

Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia extends travel ban to EU, 12 nations including India

There are 11 foreign nationals among the people who contracted the virus, Saudi Press Agency quoted the Saudi Health Ministry as saying.

Saudi Arabia has extended its travel ban to include the European Union and 12 other countries, including India, as the number of coronavirus cases in the Kingdom jumped to 62, according to media reports on Friday. Saudi health officials on Friday announced 17 new coronavirus cases, raising the number of cases in the country to 62, according to the official Saudi news agency.

There are 11 foreign nationals among the people who contracted the virus, Saudi Press Agency quoted the Saudi Health Ministry as saying.

One person was discharged from hospital after recovering from the virus, the statement said.

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Saudi Arabia early Thursday suspended flights to all EU countries as well as Switzerland, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Sudan, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Eritrea, Kenya, Djibouti, and Somalia.

“Saudi Arabia's government decided to temporarily suspend the travel of citizens and residents, and to suspend flights to the European Union countries, as well as Switzerland, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Sudan, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Eritrea, Kenya, Djibouti, and Somalia,” Saudi Gazette quoted a source at the Ministry of Interior as saying.

The government will also be suspending the entry to those coming from the aforementioned countries and entry to those who were in those countries within a time period of 14 days prior to their arrival to the Kingdom, it said.

The government's decision grants Saudi nationals and citizens of those countries with valid Saudi residency visas 72 hours to return to the Kingdom before the travel suspension comes into effect.

The travel ban excludes Indian and Filipino medical practitioners working in the Kingdom, taking into account the necessary and required precautions, the report said.

The ministries of interior and health would coordinate while dealing with humanitarian and exceptional cases, without prejudice to the necessary precautionary and preventive measures.

The decision expanded the number of countries included in the travel ban list to 53.

After emerging in Wuhan, China last December, the novel coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, has spread to at least 114 countries.

Saudi Arabia on March 9 suspended travel to Oman, France, Germany, Turkey, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Italy, and South Korea.

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First Published on Mar 14, 2020 08:40 am
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