Iran Health Minister Urges Government to Ban Entry of Travelers From China

DUBAI, Jan 31 (Reuters) Iran‘s health minister has urged the government to ban travelers from China from entering the country due to the coronavirus outbreak, Saeed Namaki tweeted on Friday, adding that his request includes passengers traveling by sea, land and air.

“In a letter to Vice-President (Eshagh) Jahangiri I urged the government to ban travelers from China, whether by sea, land or air. Also Iran‘s ports are on full alert and ready to confront the coronavirus,” Namaki tweeted.

Iran‘s semi-official Fars news agency said Namaki in his letter also urged the government to suspend all flights from China to Iran.

[aesop_image img=”” panorama=”off” credit=”Members of the Thai Airways crew disinfect the cabin of an aircraft of the national carrier during a procedure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Thailand, January 28. The World Health Organization said on January 30 it was declaring the China coronavirus outbreak a global emergency, as cases spread to 18 countries. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha” align=”center” lightbox=”off” captionsrc=”custom” captionposition=”left” revealfx=”off” overlay_revealfx=”off”]

Deputy Health Minister Alireza Raisi said “touristic trips from China to Iran are banned and business trips are also restricted”, Iran‘s Students News Agency ISNA reported.

“With the help of Iran‘s foreign ministry, 70 Iranians based in Wuhan in China will be returned to Iran next week,” said Raisi.

(Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Hugh Lawson)