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Coronavirus: Jordan closes borders with occupied West Bank, Egypt and Iraq

Authorities also announce travel ban to Lebanon and Syria
Medical staff put on protective gear before checking passengers for coronavirus symptoms at Queen Alia International Airport in Amman on 4 March (Reuters)

Jordan has announced the closure of its borders with the occupied West Bank, Egypt and Iraq, and barred travel to Lebanon and Syria in a bid to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Jordanian authorities shut down a border crossing with the occupied West Bank on Tuesday, barring Palestinians from entering the kingdom.

So far, Jordan has recorded one case of Covid-19, while neighbouring Israel and Palestine have documented 58 and 26 cases.

Most of the cases in the occupied territories involve individuals returning from abroad or tourists visiting the holy city of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank.

Egypt has recorded one death and 59 cases, Iraq has reported seven deaths and 71 infections, while Lebanon recorded its first death on Tuesday.

Jordan's health ministry said a ban on travellers and tourists from Spain, Germany and France would go into effect next Monday.

Saad Jaber, Jordan's minister of health, said that emergency measures will include scaling back airline services to Egypt, only allowing travel for emergencies.

"These measures are aimed at minimising the chances of the virus spreading," he told reporters.

War-ravaged Syria also announced on Tuesday that it was suspending entry to the country for all visitors for one month.