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Coronavirus

Coronavirus confirmed in UAE, first case in the Middle East

Chinese family arrived in Dubai on a flight but unclear how they managed to breach ban

A traveller donning a mask at the Dubai International Airport, after the UAE's Ministry of Health and Community Prevention confirmed the country's first cases of coronavirus.   © Reuters

DUBAI -- The United Arab Emirates on Wednesday confirmed the first case of coronavirus in Dubai, saying medics were now treating a member of a family that had just arrived from Wuhan. It is unclear how the family traveled to Dubai given that Wuhan is in lockdown.

The UAE's state-run WAM news agency made the announcement citing the Health and Prevention Ministry. When contacted by Nikkei, the ministry declined to provide information about the infected family member and which hospital he or she was being treated at, and declined to comment on the health risk to Dubai's population. 

Emirati governmental and health officials are taking "all the necessary precautions in accordance with the scientific recommendations, conditions and standards approved by the World Health Organization," the UAE health ministry said. 

Chinese authorities said on Wednesday that 132 have died from the virus and another 5,974 have been infected.

There are confirmed cases in Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Australia, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Singapore, Nepal, Hong Kong, Macao, France, Germany, Canada and the U.S. But there are no deaths outside of China.

British Airways on Wednesday suspended all flights to and from China, after local authorities advised against all but essential travel to the country.

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