January 31, 2020 / 10:25 AM / 22 days ago

Iran health minister urges government to ban entry of travelers from China

Passengers from China wearing masks to prevent a new coronavirus are checked by Saudi Health Ministry employees upon their arrival at King Khalid International Airport, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia January 29, 2020. REUTERS /Ahmed Yosri

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran’s health minister has urged the government to ban travelers from China from entering the country due to the coronavirus outbreak, Saeed Namaki tweeted on Friday, adding that his request includes passengers traveling by sea, land and air.

“In a letter to Vice-President (Eshagh) Jahangiri I urged the government to ban travelers from China, whether by sea, land or air. Also Iran’s ports are on full alert and ready to confront the coronavirus,” Namaki tweeted.

Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency said Namaki in his letter also urged the government to suspend all flights from China to Iran.

Deputy Health Minister Alireza Raisi said “touristic trips from China to Iran are banned and business trips are also restricted”, Iran’s Students News Agency ISNA reported.

“With the help of Iran’s foreign ministry, 70 Iranians based in Wuhan in China will be returned to Iran next week,” said Raisi.

Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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