Earlier, Qatar also banned the entry of people arriving from 14 countries. Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: Qatar has detected 17 new coronavirus cases, Qatar News Agency reported citing the country’s Ministry of Public Health.

According to Al Arabiya, the ministry said these patients were in touch with patients among expatriate workers currently in quarantine.

Qatar has now 320 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, making it the country with the highest number of Covid-19 patients in the Middle East after Iran, followed by Bahrain and Kuwait.

Yesterday, Qatar reported 59 new cases after its highest single-day toll on Wednesday, when health authorities detected 238 new cases among expatriates who contracted the virus after coming in touch with three infected patients.

In light of the growing number of infected persons, Qatar has taken precautionary measures to safeguard the health and wellbeing of the public including closing cinemas, theatres, children’s play areas, gyms and wedding venues. These measures came into effect March 13, and will remain in place until further notice.

Qatar also banned the entry of people arriving from 14 countries, including Iran, Lebanon, and Iraq, due to concerns over the novel coronavirus.

The ban also cover those coming from China, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria and Thailand. Qatar Airways had previously suspended flights to and from Italy.

Qatar also suspended all schools and universities from Tuesday from March 10 to control the coronavirus outbreak.