Coronavirus: UAE announces new Covid-19 case

The new case brings the UAE's total to 86, including 23 recoveries

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A UAE resident tested positive for Covid-19, after returning to the Emirates from holiday.

The Ministry of Health and Prevention said the Indian had spent their annual leave abroad and had the coronavirus diagnosed on his return to the UAE.

"All those who were in contact with the patient have been examined and have all tested negative for the virus," the ministry said.

The new case brings the UAE's total to 86. Twenty-three people have recovered from Covid-19 since the UAE recorded its first case on January 29.

The announcement was made early on Sunday morning, hours after the UAE said it would “temporarily suspend” issuing most visas into the country from Tuesday, March 17.

Authorities said only those with diplomatic passports would be exempt from the move, which came as governments around the world stepped up efforts to contain the coronavirus.

In a statement on Saturday, the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship said it was responding to the World Health Organisation’s decision to designate the ongoing outbreak as a pandemic.

More than 145,000 cases of the virus have been recorded globally so far, with more than 5,000 deaths. More than 72,000 patients have recovered.

Also on Saturday, the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority announced it was halting all flights to and from Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Turkey from March 17 until further notice.