Saudi Arabia cuts off travel over virus as markets tumble

Saudi Arabia closes off air and sea travel to nine countries affected by the new coronavirus as Mideast stock markets tumble over fears about the widening outbreak’s effect on the global economy.

The state oil giant Saudi Aramco leads the financial losses, dropping by 10% on Riyadh’s Tadawul stock exchange and forcing a halt to Aramco’s trading.

In the Mideast there have been over 7,600 confirmed cases, with the vast majority in hard-hit Iran. The country’s health ministry says the new coronavirus has killed another 43 people, pushing death toll to 237 amid 7,161 confirmed cases. Experts worry Iran may be underreporting its cases.

— AP

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