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Qatar bans Sri Lankans from going there over COVID19

VIGILANT- Passengers being scanned at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Sri Lanka. Source: AFP

Qatar has temporarily banned travellers from Sri Lanka and 13 other countries from entering the country, an advisory from the Emirati state said, according to agency reports.

The ban takes begins today as a precaution against the spread of the novel Coronavirus influenza (COVID19).

A statement from Qatar Airways confirmed by Sri Lankan Airlines said flights are operating to Doha from Colombo, but passengers from these fourteen countries are not permitted to enter the country.

Transit passengers may disembark and catch their connections to other countries.

The Qatar Airways statement contained in a Tweet from its official account said: “under the direction of government authorities of the State of Qatar, as a preventive measure to limit the spread of Coronavirus, entry to Qatar is temporarily suspended for all those travelling from the following countries: Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria and Thailand. Only those with onward connections through Hamad International Airport are accepted for travel. ”

Fifteen people in Qatar are infected with coronavirus.

Sri Lanka has also issued an advisory against pilgrimages to India where Buddhists usually go to worship sites associated with the Buddha. The advisory from the Ministry of Buddha Sasana said this was a precaution against the spread of COVID19.

From midnight tonight India will require arriving passengers who have visited South Korea or Italy to produce a certificate from a recognized medical laboratory in those countries saying they are not infected with the COVID19 bug to enter the country.

India has also advised its citizens to refrain from travelling to China, South Korea, Italy, Iran and Japan.

Meanwhile, CNN is reporting that the number of cases of the novel coronavirus has risen to more than 108,000 globally, with at least 27,000 cases outside of China, as the economic trauma caused by the outbreak continues to impact global share markets.

The American news provider said at least 3,821 people have died as a result of the virus so far, with the majority in mainland China.

“But figures outside of the country where the virus was first reported are growing, even as China slowly starts to get back to normal,” it added.

Almost 100 countries and territories have now confirmed cases, and dozens of deaths have occurred in Italy, Iran and South Korea. Italian authorities have placed much of the northern part of the country on lockdown, affecting nearly 15 million people, while other regions will face varying forms of travel restrictions. More than 7,300 cases and 366 deaths have been confirmed in Italy.

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