Qatar Reports Its First Coronavirus in Man Who Returned From Iran

FILE PHOTO: A Qatar Airways aircraft is seen at Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar. REUTERS/Naseem Zeitoon/

DOHA, Feb 29 (Reuters) – Qatar reported its first case of coronavirus infection in the country on Saturday.

The patient is a 36-year-old Qatari who recently returned from Iran, the health ministry said in a statement, adding that he is a stable condition.

It means Saudi Arabia is now the only Persian Gulf state not to have signalled any coronavirus cases.

The country most affected by the outbreak in the Persian Gulf region is Iran, with 43 deaths and nearly 600 hundred confirmed infections, according to authorities.

The majority of infections in other Persian Gulf countries have been linked to visits to Iran or involve people who have come into contact with people who had been there. The only deaths reported so far in the region are in Iran.

Bahrain’s health ministry said on Twitter on Saturday that three more cases were discovered for citizens who came to the country via indirect flights from Iran, raising the total number of confirmed infections to 41 cases.

The United Arab Emirates advised banks to reschedule loans and reduce fees and commissions on Saturday as part of measures to mitigate the economic effects of the coronavirus outbreak.

The UAE is a regional business hub and major transit point for passengers travelling to China and other destinations in Asia.

The UAE education ministry also announced the suspension of nursery school classes.

Kuwait has called on its citizens to avoid travelling over concerns about the spread of the coronavirus. {nL8N2AT0GC]

Kuwait has reported 45 coronavirus infections, Bahrain 41, the United Arab Emirates 21 of whom five recovered, Oman six of whom one recovered. Iraq has reported eight infections.

(Reporting by Alexander Cornwell and Davide Barbuscia; writing by Maher Chmaytelli and Marwa Rashad; Editing by Alexander Smith and Mike Harrison)