Russia announced on Tuesday its intention to ban Chinese nationals from entering its territory from Thursday onwards, a drastic new measure intended to halt the spread of the coronavirus epidemic. "The entry of Chinese nationals via the Russian borders is suspended from February 20 for work trips, private trips, studies and tourism," said Tatiana Golikova, Deputy Prime Minister for Health, cited by Russian news agencies.
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The decision was made "because of the worsening epidemic in China and the fact that Chinese nationals continue to arrive on Russian territory," said Ms. Golikova, also head of the task force responsible for the fight against coronavirus. Many Chinese are present in Russia, whether they are tourists, students or they work there, and the Russian airports are massively used as point of transit between China and Europe.
Russia officially no longer has new coronavirus patients
Russian authorities have taken very strict measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19, which has claimed the lives of nearly 1,900 people to date worldwide. Moscow has in particular ordered the closure of some 4,250 km of borders between Russia and China, the cutting of rail links and the restriction of the number of flights to Chinese cities.
Russia officially has no more patients with the new coronavirus on its territory after the discharge of the hospital last week of the only two patients, Chinese nationals. In both cases, the infection was mild, according to Russian doctors.