Erbil Mayor Nabaz Abdulhamid announced on Wednesday a decision to close temporarily all cafeterias and ban shisha smoking in the city’s public places as part of a raft of efforts to prevent a local coronavirus outbreak. “The decision will be implemented from next week,” as Abdulhamid confirmed. He also noted that “Any place that does not follow our decision will be punished.” Kalar municipality on the hand, also decided to close all shisha smoking places as a measure to forestall the spread of the virus.

Kurdistan Region’s Ministry of Interior issued a new order on Wednesday to ban citizens of five countries from entering Kurdistan amid increasing fear of coronavirus breakout. According to the order, people from Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Italy, and Singapore will not be granted with a visa or entry documents to Kurdistan Region. Interior Ministry also said every individual who visited China, Iran and the five aforementioned countries in 2020 will have to go through an additional medical test to ensure that they are not infected with coronavirus.

The number of coronavirus cases in Italy has jumped to 400, amid international efforts to contain the spread of the deadly outbreak. The rise in Italy, the main focus of infection in Europe, represents a 25% surge in 24 hours. Also on Wednesday, the World Health Organization said that for the first time the virus was spreading faster outside China, where it originated. Globally, more than 80,000 people in about 40 countries have been infected with the new coronavirus, which emerged in December. The vast majority remain in China.