Saudi Arabia yesterday barred citizens from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council from entering two of Islam’s holiest cities, Mecca and Medina, amid fears over the Novel Corona virus, the Foreign Ministry said.
The GCC states include Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar. The Ministry said, the decision excludes GCC citizens who have been in the kingdom for 14 consecutive days and did not show signs of Corona virus infection. Saudi Arabia has so far reported no cases.
Iraq yesterday announced a new case of the Novel Corona virus disease in the capital Baghdad, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to eight. A statement by the Iraqi Health Ministry confirmed the case of a 32-year-old Iraqi woman who returned earlier to Iraq from neighboring Iran.
Iran’s Parliament, the Majlis, stopped work yesterday and was closed until further notice over the outbreak of COVID-19, official IRNA news agency reported. In all, 34 out of 388 people infected with COVID-19, including two Iranian lawmakers, have died so far.
Mexico’s Health Ministry confirmed the country’s first cases of Corona virus yesterday, saying two men who recently returned from Italy tested positive for the virus. Italy is Europe’s epicentre with 650 cases and 17 deaths centred around cities in the north.
Iceland confirmed the Novel Corona virus had reached the subarctic island after a man in his forties, who had recently returned from a trip to northern Italy, tested positive for COVID-19. Authorities said that efforts were underway to trace the infection path of the virus, as well as anyone exposed to it from the Icelandic patient.
India yesterday pulled out of next month’s shooting World Cup in Cyprus, citing the Novel Corona virus threat there. The shotgun world cup, recognized by the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF), is scheduled to be held in Nicosia from 4th to 13 th of March.
Major sporting events across the world are being either postponed or cancelled due to the ongoing threat of the Corona virus. The clash between Juventus and title rivals Inter Milan is among five Series A games that will be played behind closed doors this weekend because of the Corona virus outbreak in Italy.
Among the events affected are several football matches, including in Japan and Italy, boxing’s Olympic qualifiers, badminton tournaments, and archery events. Europa League matches are being played behind closed doors, while boxing’s Olympic qualifier has been shifted from Wuhan to Jordan.
The outbreak of the disease has also affected the New Delhi shooting world cup, with seven countries already withdrawing. China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, North Korea, Turkmenistan and Bahrain have opted out due to the Corona virus crisis in these countries.
The Swiss Government also announced it was suspending all events in the country involving more than 1,000 participants.
The Novel Corona virus has infected 83,670 people and killed 2,865 around the world so far. The World Health Organization (WHO) yesterday raised its global risk assessment of the virus to its highest level after the epidemic spread to sub-Saharan Africa and caused financial markets to plunge.
China today reported 47 more deaths from the Novel Corona
virus, raising the death toll in the country to 2,835.
The National Health Commission also tallied 427 new cases, an increase from the previous day, bringing the total of number of infections to 79,251.