COVID-19: Tehran announces domestic travel curbs as France reports new case, tally now at 18

Iraq bans public gatherings and travel to 9 countries

Georgia reports first coronavirus in the country: health minister

In the middle east, Iranian authorities on Wednesday announced that instead of quarantining cities, domestic travel restrictions will be implemented for people with confirmed or suspected cases of the coronavirus.

Health Minister Saeed Namaki said at a news conference that teams would be located at the entrance of cities "that see a lot of movement", without naming them, adding that such controls had already started.

The teams will take people's temperature and "stop those who are infected or suspected of infection", Namaki said. All those suspected of being infected with COVID-19 would be quarantined for 14 days.

Iraq banned all public gatherings and banned travellers from Kuwait and Bahrain from entry, the health minister said, taking the total number of countries on the entry ban list to nine amid growing fears over the spread of the coronavirus.

The nine countries are: China, Iran, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Italy, Bahrain and Kuwait.

The minister also ordered the suspension of schools and university and the closure of cinemas, cafes, clubs, and other public gathering spots nationwide from February 27 to March 7.

In France one more person has been infected with the coronavirus in France, putting the tally at 18 in the country, the French Health minister said.

"There is no epidemic in the country, just isolated cases", Olivier Veran said during a press conference, adding that 15 million protection masks would be made available.

Health ministry director Jerome Salomon added that out of the 18 cases, two people had died, 12 were cured and four were still hospitalised.

Georgia reported the first case of coronavirus in the country, the health minister said.

Ekaterine Tikaradze said that a Georgian citizen, who was travelling from Iran, crossed the border from neighbouring Azerbaijan.

"He was immediately taken to hospital from the border check-point," Tikaradze said.

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