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Borders alert as Russia guards against MERS coronavirus threat

June 17, 2015, 16:00 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Quarantine control of people returning from countries affected by the coronavirus has been organized and measures taken to ensure readiness to identify the disease in the event of its importation
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© AP Photo/Lee Jin-man

MOSCOW, June 17. /TASS/. Officials are on maximum alert to stop contagious Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) breaching Russia's borders, the state surveillance agency responsible for keeping it at bay told TASS on Wednesday.

"Russia is taking all possible steps to prevent importation of the virus into the country. Quarantine control of people returning from countries affected by the coronavirus has been organized and measures taken to ensure readiness to identify the disease in the event of its importation," Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection (Rospotrebnadzor) said.

In South Korea, the virus has already killed 16 people and infected around 150, second in the number of cases reported after Saudi Arabia, where more than 1,000 people have been infected since 2012.

South Korea's consul general led an embassy delegation meeting Russia's Rospotrebnadzor on Tuesday, establishing "direct contact with the authorities of South Korea on overcoming coronavirus proliferation", an agency official said.

Also on Wednesday, a Rospotrebnadzor spokesman in Russia’s Far East Maritime Territory told TASS that the region "was taking all necessary measures to prevent penetration of the infection into the region".

"All people coming from South Korea are subject to non-contact thermometry and visual medical examination. So far, there was not a single case of detecting patients with fever," the spokesman said.

Most MERS-CoV patients develop severe acute respiratory illness, including fever, coughing and having trouble breathing. Three or four of every 10 MERS patients die. The virus is spread through close personal contact.

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