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DUBAI: Kuwait has banned commercial flights to several countries it said it regards as high risk due to the spread of the coronavirus, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation said on Saturday.

The countries include India, Pakistan, Egypt, the Philippines, Lebanon and Sri Lanka, which all have large numbers of expatriates in Kuwait. The list also includes China, Iran, Brazil, Mexico, Italy and Iraq.

The ban was announced the same day Kuwait began a partial resumption of commercial flights. The authorities have said Kuwait International Airport would run at about 30% capacity from Saturday, gradually increasing in coming months. Egyptian national carrier EgyptAir also announced it would halt flights to the Gulf country.

Kuwait, which has recorded nearly 67,000 coronavirus cases and more than 400 deaths, began a five-phase plan at the start of June to gradually lift restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the virus. A partial curfew remains in place.