REVISES HEADLINE, DECK, ADDS DETAILS
By Haydar Karaalp
BAGHDAD (AA) - Iraq has closed all border crossings with Iran for three days following the deaths of two Iranians from the deadly novel coronavirus, authorities said Thursday.
The Iraqi Border Crossing Authority said Iraqi citizens coming from Iran will not be affected by the entry ban.
It said imports from Iran will continue to be allowed entry at the border crossings.
Earlier, Iraqi authorities decided to suspend issuing visas to Iranians after Tehran confirmed the two coronavirus deaths on Wednesday.
Local Iraqi media reported that the Health Ministry has decided to prevent Iranian citizens from entering the country until further notice.
The death toll in China from the coronavirus outbreak has risen to 2,120, the country’s National Health Commission said Thursday.
The commission said there are 11,864 confirmed cases of the virus, officially known as COVID-19, while more than 126,000 people are currently under medical care.
More than 16,000 people have been discharged from hospitals after successfully recovering.
According to the latest reports, 114 people died in the past 24 hours.
In an earlier statement, Chinese health authorities said the virus posed more of a risk to the elderly, men and those suffering from diseases.
It has spread to more than 25 other countries including the U.S., the U.K., Singapore, France, Russia, Spain and India.
Many countries, including Turkey, have evacuated their citizens from the city of Wuhan – the epicenter of the virus – and other affected areas of China, placing them under quarantine and monitoring.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the outbreak an international health emergency.