Australia has reportedly “warned” its citizens not to travel to Iran amid surging cases of the coronavirus in its territory, most cases linked to Iran. The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) announced Saturday, February 29, that foreign nationals travelling from Iran need to quarantine in another country before entering Australia, as per reports.
Effective Sunday, March 1, the measure requires the Australian citizens, permanent residents, and immediate families to isolate themselves for at least 14 days in case of flu-like or chronic illness symptoms upon entering Australia from abroad.
According to the reports, DFAT also extended travel restrictions against the Chinese nationals with the exception of returning Australians citizens. It, however, said that the policy will be revised basis the situation analysis before Friday, March 6. Australia's Chief Medical Officer issued an advisory stating that there was a high level of concern about the spread COVID-19 due to transmission from returning citizens from Iran.
Australia government said on its Smart Traveller website, “There have been many deaths. The health care system will likely struggle to cope with a large outbreak. Airlines are reducing or stopping flights into and out of Iran. Medical evacuation is not likely to be possible."
Meanwhile, the experts from China are on their way to Iran to assess the toll from the coronavirus, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying confirmed in media reports. He was quoted saying by state-run China daily that coronavirus is a deadly enemy of the nations worldwide and the countries must all fight together to stem its global spread.
State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi in his telephonic conversation with the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that China will continue to provide assistance to curb the global epidemic, as per reports. China has reportedly donated a batch of nucleic acid detection kit and medical supplies to help Iran combat the disease.
(with inputs from agencies)