Kuwait on Thursday reported eight new coronavirus infections, taking its total to 80, as the country started a two-week public holiday announced by the government as part of measures to contain the spread of infections.
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Authorities on Wednesday also announced a ban on all commercial passenger flights to and from the country starting Friday.
Kuwait on Thursday closed all workplaces and non-essential business for two weeks, including restaurants, cafes and health clubs. Schools and universities have already been suspended.
Its stock market was shut on Thursday.
Trade Minister Khalid Al Roudan, in an audio recording shared by the ministry, reassured citizens concerned about the availability of essential goods.
“There is no need for all this panic because shipping lanes are still open and cargo flights continue. There are sufficient strategic food stockpiles for several months,” he said.
Many of the recorded infections are linked to travel to Iran, the epicenter of the disease in the Middle East.
Bahrain on Wednesday reported 77 new infections among citizens evacuated by plane from Iran as confirmed cases rose to 189.
Qatar reported a massive jump in cases of the new coronavirus late Wednesday with 262 now infected.
The new cases were among expatriates in a residential compound that had been placed under quarantine after three residents tested positive for the virus on Sunday.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough.
For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover from the new virus and the COVID-19 illness it causes.
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