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Dubai Airports Image Credit: Supplied

DUBAI: The UAE has banned flights to all cities in Iran for a week in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The ban could be extended after a week, WAM reported.

The decision is effective Tuesday, the UAE Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement.

UAE has already suspended all flights to and from China, with the exception of Beijing.

Iran is the epicenter of coronavirus in the Middle East, with 12 deaths and about 60 confirmed cases.

Air Arabia  and FlyDubai operate about 25 weekly flights to Iranian cities other than Tehran. Emirates, the world’s biggest airline by international traffic, only flies to Tehran.

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The body temperature of an Iraqi child returning from Iran is measured upon her arrival at the Najaf International Airport on February 21, 2020, after Iran announced cases of coronavirus infections in the Islamic republic. Image Credit: AFP

Bahrain on Monday temporarily banned flights to and from Dubai, the Middle East’s airline hub, and Sharjah in the UAE as Middle East countries reported more cases overnight.

Flights will be suspended for 48 hours, Bahrain’s state news agency reported.

Kuwait, which has already stopped flights to Iran, on Monday suspended travel to South Korea, Thailand, Italy and Iraq.

- With inputs from Bloomberg