Eritrea bans all commercial passenger flights due to COVID-19 pandemic

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ADDIS ABABA, March 26 (Xinhua) -- The Eritrean government on Thursday banned all commercial passenger flights to and from Eritrea as of Thursday due to concerns related to the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

"In connection with COVID-19, commercial passenger flights to and from Eritrea will not be allowed from midnight March 25," the Eritrean Minister of Information, Yemane Gebremeskel, said in a statement issued Thursday.

The ban will remain effective for two weeks until further review.

The decision came as the Red Sea nation on late Wednesday confirmed three more cases of COVID-19, as the total confirmed cases rose into four as of Thursday, according to the Eritrean Ministry of Health.

The Eritrean government also stressed that "it will continue to monitor developments and trends regarding COVID-19 and issue, as necessary, further information and guidelines."

Eritrea's three latest COVID-19 confirmed cases are said to be passengers who arrived in the Eritrean capital, Asmara from Dubai, the United Arab Emirates on March 23, and were diagnosed positive for COVID-19 on late Wednesday, according to the Eritrean Minister of Information Yemane Gebremeskel.

"All three passengers are Eritrean nationals and residents in the country," Gebremeskel said in a statement read.

The passengers, who were on the same flight with the patients and all those who came in physical contact with them, have been quarantined, the minister said.

On Saturday, Eritrea confirmed its first case of COVID-19 in a 39-year-old Eritrean who was linked to travel to Norway. Enditem

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