February 27, 2020 / 6:16 PM / a month ago

Kuwait has 43 confirmed cases of coronavirus - health ministry

DUBAI (Reuters) - Kuwait now has 43 confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to a health ministry official on Thursday, who added all cases involved people who had been to Iran.

Iran, which lies east of Kuwait, has experienced the largest death toll from coronavirus outside China, with 26 deaths and 245 cases.

Kuwait announced a raft of measures on Thursday, according to state news agency KUNA, including forcing all flight passengers to sign an avowal that would make them subject to quarantine for a minimum of two weeks at the Kuwaiti authorities’ discretion.

Those who do not comply could face “punishments and legal accountability”, KUNA added.

A number of educational institutes will also close for two weeks. The Kuwaiti army will suspend studies at military colleges and schools for two weeks from March 1 due to concerns about the coronavirus outbreak, and studies at Saad Al-Abdullah Academy For Security Sciences will also be halted for two weeks from March 1.

Classes have also been halted at the Institute of Banking Studies until further notice.

The state-owned Kuwait Oil Company said on Twitter it has suspended all domestic and foreign official missions and training programmes for its employees until further notice, including training at international companies and participation at conferences.

It made no explicit reference to coronavirus, but said it was “a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of workers.”

Reporting by Alaa Swilam and Ahmed Tolba; Writing by Yousef Saba; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Alexandra Hudson

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