Amid the unprecedented coronavirus outbreak, Qatar has temporarily banned travellers from 14 countries from March 9 in a bid to contain the spread of the deadly virus. According to international media reports, the ban list includes China, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka and Thailand. The ban comes after Qatar authorities reported three more coronavirus cases, bringing the total in the country to 15.
First detected in Wuhan in December 2019, COVID-19 has affected more than 80 countries in the world. As of now, there are more than one lakh confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus which has led to the death of 3,831 people. As there is no vaccine or specific antiviral medicine to treat COVID-19, countries have been grappling with all possible mechanisms to contain its scope. So far, China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran have witnessed the most number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus.
Leaders around the world have reportedly rolled out bans on big gatherings and stricter travel restrictions as the confirmed cases around the globe surpassed one lakh. The deadly outbreak has disrupted flight demand and several airlines have also suspended or modified services in response. The majority of infections in Gulf countries have been linked to visits to Iran or involve people who have come into contact with people who had been there.
Azerbaijan has also closed its border with Iran for two weeks to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The Azerbaijan authorities confirmed nine cases who had travelled to Iran. On the other hand, Qatar has also cancelled a defence exhibition and Bahrain has postponed two oil and gas conference that had been scheduled to take place this month.
The economy has also been severely affected by the ongoing crisis of the coronavirus outbreak with the global markets witnessing reportedly their worst week since the 2008 global financial crisis. The virus fears have pushed the stocks down for the seventh consecutive day. With businesses and companies either shutting down stores or cancelling their major events to contain the spread of the fatal virus, it has already reached more than 80 countries with Antarctica being the only continent left 'virus-free'.