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Russia decides to suspend issuance of working visas to Chinese citizens, air services

Russian citizens who will be evacuated from China will be placed under quarantine for 14 days, the Deputy PM informed

MOSCOW, January 31. /TASS/. The Russian government is going to suspend issuance of work visas to Chinese citizens, Russian Deputy Prime Minister and head of the emergency response headquarters for the prevention of the novel coronavirus’ spreading to Russia Tatyana Golikova told reporters on Friday.

"We are preparing a draft government decree on a temporary ban on work visas for citizens of the People’s Republic of China," she said.

Russia will suspend all air service with China starting February 1, the coronavirus prevention HQ head reported. Aeroflot regular flights to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong will be the only exception from the ban. Four Chinese airlines will be allowed to fly to Russia, Golikova specified.

"We close all aviation frequencies, with the exception of Aeroflot, which will continue flying to four Chinese cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong," Golikova announced. "In accordance with the agreement with the PRC, four Chinese airlines continue flying to Moscow, they will continue operating on a regular basis."

All Aeroflot and Chinese airlines flights will be conducted only from the Terminal F of Sheremetyevo Airport, while all other flights will be redirected to other terminals.

As for the Chinese citizens staying in Russia, they will be able to leave for China before air communications of Russian regions with China are halted. "Simultaneously, we will talk to the Chinese side, suggesting that if such a need arises Chinese citizens can board planes leaving for China from cities other than Moscow so that they can return to China. We expect information from Chinese authorities regarding this issue in a couple days’ time," she said.

Russia will not suspend mail and cargo shipments with China.

Evacuation of Russians from China

Russian citizens who will be evacuated from the Chinese Wuhan and Hubei Province will be placed under quarantine for 14 days in light of the coronavirus outbreak in China, Golikova informed. "Having assessed the number of citizens who will fly here, we will determine the special aircraft that will travel there to transport them to facilities under quarantine for 14 days," she commented.

"We are beginning evacuation of our citizens from Wuhan and Hubei. Before the end of the day we will clarify how many of our citizens are there. Preliminary data suggests that 300 people are staying in Wuhan and 341 are in the Hubei Province," she said.

According to Golikova, all citizens will be informed about the quarantine measure and will be given a chance to make a decision whether they wish to stay in China or go back to Russia.

The Federal Antimonopoly Service was tasked with fighting anti-viral medicine price hikes.

The Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Well-Being (Rospotrebnadzor) called on Russian citizens to refrain from participating in mass events and urged to maintain hygiene — primarily, to wash their hands. There is no risk of further spread of the coronavirus in Russia, the watchdog claimed.

Russia will make the final decision on whether to cancel the Russian Investment Forum in Sochi on February 3.

Restrictions for Chinese nationals travelling across Russian-Mongolian border

Russia has issued restrictions for Chinese nationals travelling across the Russian-Mongolian border amid the outbreak of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus, the Russian deputy prime minister said.

"Based on the information reported by our border guard service, we are restricting movement of citizens of the People’s Republic of China across Mongolia’s border with Russia," Golikova announced.

The Chinese authorities informed the World Health Organization (WHO) on December 31, 2019 about the outbreak of pneumonia of unknown origin in Wuhan, a large trade and industrial center with a population of over 11 million people. The pathogen, the 2019-nCoV coronavirus, was identified on January 7. The WHO recognized the virus outbreak as a national emergency for China but has so far refrained from declaring it a global health emergency. To date, the total number of people infected with the new coronavirus in China has exceeded 9,800, more than 200 people have died.

The first two coronavirus cases registered in Russia were Chinese nationals in the Trans-Baikal Region and Tyumen Region. They are under strict supervision, isolated, and provided with necessary healthcare.