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Oman reports first cases of Wuhan coronavirus, Taiwan giving $2 billion

Christian Fernsby |
Two women have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus after arriving from Iran, Oman's Health Ministry announced yesterday.

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The ministry said in a statement that they were the country’s first ever recorded cases of Wuhan coronavirus.

It further noted that Oman's civil aviation authority has suspended all civilian flights between Oman and Iran until further notice.

Taiwan's parliament approved a T$60 billion ($2 billion) package today to help cushion the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on its export reliant economy.

The package includes loans for small businesses, subsidies for hard hit tour agencies, tax cuts for tour bus drivers and even vouchers to spend on food in Taiwan's famous night markets, normally a top attraction for foreign tourists.

Taiwan, whose largest trading partner is China, cut its estimate for 2020 economic growth this month as the outbreak threatens its economy, which is a key part of the global electronics supply chain.

"Our common enemy is the virus. The 23 million people in Taiwan will definitely not be defeated," Hung Mong-kai, lawmaker from Taiwan's main opposition Kuomintang party, told the parliament after the bill was passed in a rare bipartisan support. "God bless Taiwan."

The island has only reported 31 cases of the virus and one death, but has largely suspended travel and tourism links with China to curb its spread.

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