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25 Feb 2020 | 04:03 AM UTC

UAE: Dubai International Airport (DBX) suspends many Iran flights amid COVID-19 concerns February 25 /update 4

Authorities at Dubai International Airport (DBX) suspend many flights to/from Iran on February 25 due to COVID-19 concerns; contact airlines

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Event

Authorities at Dubai International Airport (DBX) have canceled many flights to and from Iran as of Tuesday, February 25 amid an increasing number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Iran. The flight cancelations do not apply to Iran's Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA). A total of 61 cases have been reported in Iran, with 12 confirmed deaths as a result of COVID-19. In the UAE, 13 confirmed COVID-19 cases have been recorded.

Further international spread of the COVID-19 virus is probable over the coming days and weeks.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in more than 30 countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On February 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the COVID-19 outbreak is a "very grave threat."

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Individuals in the UAE are advised to monitor the situation, anticipate further transportation disruptions, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities. Those traveling via DBX are advised to contact their airlines for more information.

To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue; throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care urgently and share your previous travel history with your health care provider
  • Adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and your home government.

In the case that symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness emerge either during or after travel, individuals are encouraged to seek medical attention and share their travel history with their health care provider. Travelers returning from China who develop symptoms of pneumonia are advised to call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.