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Countries Restrict Travel From Iran Due To Coronavirus, Canada Asks Citizens To Leave


Kamkar hospital in Qom, the epicenter of Iran's coronavirus outbreak. February 28, 2020.

Several countries including Australia and Germany have announced new restrictions affecting travelers from Iran due to the escalating outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Islamic Republic.

Health Ministry Spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour at a press conference on Saturday said 43 people have died and 593 cases of infections have now been confirmed in the Iran.

Australia will deny entry to all foreign nationals traveling from Iran due to the escalating outbreak of coronavirus in the Islamic republic, the Australian government said on Saturday.

Foreign nationals traveling from Iran to Australia would need to spend 14 days in another country from March 1. "There is likely at this stage a high level of undetected cases and therefore those cases won't be intercepted or identified on departure from Iran," Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt was quoted by Reuters as saying.

Australian citizens and permanent residents returning from Iran would be required to self-isolate for 14 days and the travel advice for Australians traveling to Iran has been raised to "do not travel".

Health authorities on Saturday confirmed the number of cases of coronavirus in Australia was 25 after a 63-year-old woman returning from Iran became ill.

The government of Azerbaijan on Saturday closed its borders with Iran for two weeks after three cases of coronavirus infection were confirmed in travelers from Iran.

Baku has announced that only Azerbaijani nationals who are in Iran now can return to the country. More than 250 individuals who have returned from Iran in the past few days have been quarantined. Iranians who are currently in Azerbaijan have been allowed to go back to Iran.

On Saturday Qatar's Health Ministry reported the country's first case of coronavirus infection. The patient is a 36-year-old Qatari who returned recently from Iran, the ministry said in a statement quoted by Reuters, adding that he is in a stable condition.

The majority of infections in Persian Gulf countries including Bahrain, Kuwait, the UAE and Oman have been diagnosed in people returning from Iran or who came into contact with those who had been there.

On Friday Germany's crisis committee also announced measures to combat the coronavirus outbreak. The committee has increased regulations for air and sea passengers, requiring passengers from South Korea, Japan, Italy and Iran to report their health status before entry, Deutsche Welle reported.

In a tweet on Friday the Canadian government said it is becoming increasingly difficult to leave Iran and advised its citizens to consider leaving the country by commercial means while they are still available if their presence in Iran is not essential.

As of February 28 Canada had 14 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with at least seven cases, including Quebec's first presumptive case, with ties to Iran.

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