Kuwait, Oman suspend flights to Egypt over coronavirus fears
Mohamed Soliman, , Sunday 8 Mar 2020

Kuwait and Oman are imposing more restrictive measures on flights to and from a number of countries, including Egypt, in the coming days in an attempt to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Oman’s civil aviation authority announced the suspension of all charter flights to Egypt for one month as of 8 March 2020.

According to a circular issued on Saturday, the authority is obliging foreign residents in Oman to present a Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test certificate proving that they are coronavirus-free.

All travellers to Oman will be placed in quarantine for 14 days, which is the estimated incubation period of the virus.

"The flight suspension does not include regular scheduled flights between Egypt and Muscat International Airport through Oman Air, Salam Air, and EgyptAir," the Omani civil aviation clarified.

Meanwhile, Kuwait has suspended all flights to and from Egypt, the Philippines, Syria, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and India for one week starting Saturday.

Travellers from any of the seven counties are allowed to enter Kuwait provided that they had been residing in non-epidemic-stricken countries for the last 14 days, Kuwait's civil aviation directorate said.

The virus has infected 16 people in Oman so far, and more than 58 in Kuwait.

The fast-spreading virus, which first appeared in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December, has prompted many airlines around the world to impose flight restrictions, especially to China, in an effort to contain the epidemic.

Earlier this month, Egypt announced it was suspending its daily flights to Kuwait "until further notice," a few days after banning the entry of all Qatari nationals starting 6 March.

Two weeks ago, Egypt reduced its flights to and from Beijing and Guangzhou to only one trip a week.

On Saturday, Egypt reported 33 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number in the country to 48 cases.

The virus has killed over 3,000 people so far, mostly in China, and has infected more than 101,000 others, according to the latest updates from the World Health Organisation.