DOHA (Reuters) - Qatar’s health ministry reported on Saturday the first case of coronavirus infection in the country.
The patient is a 36 year-old Qatari who returned recently from Iran, the ministry said in a statement, adding that he is a stable condition.
With Qatar reporting its first infection, Saudi Arabia becomes the only Gulf country not to have signalled any coronavirus case.
The country most affected by the outbreak in the Gulf region is Iran, with 43 deaths and nearly 600 hundred confirmed infections, according to authorities.
The majority of infections in other Gulf countries were diagnosed in people who had visited Iran or who came into contact with people who had been there.
The only deaths reported so far in the region are in Iran.
The United Arab Emirates advised banks to reschedule loans and reduce fees and commissions on Saturday as part of measures to mitigate the economic effects of the coronavirus outbreak.
The UAE is a regional business hub and major transit point for passengers travelling to China and other destinations in Asia.
The UAE education ministry also announced the suspension of nursery school classes.
Kuwait called on its citizens to avoid travelling over concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.
Kuwait has reported 45 coronavirus infections, Bahrain 38, the United Arab Emirates 21 of whom five recovered, Oman six of whom one recovered. Iraq has reported eight infections.
(This story corrects typographical error in third paragraph)
Reporting by Alexander Cornwell and Davide Barbuscia; writing by Maher Chmaytelli; Editing by Alexander Smith