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Russia’s Chechnya closes administratieve borders amid coronavirus outbreak

Chechen residents outside the region are told to stay in self-isolation

GROZNY, March 29. /TASS/. The government of Russia’s North Caucasus Republic of Chechnya ordered to close the region’s administrative borders due to an outbreak of the novel coronavirus, a member of the region’s crisis management office said on Saturday night.

"No one will be allowed in and out, except for medical workers and food industry employees. Transit cars travelling via the republic should choose alternative routes," Adam Delimkhanov said.

He called upon Chechen residents outside the region to stay in self-isolation.

Meanwhile, Chechen parliament speaker and head of the crisis management office, Magomed Daudov, announced tough quarantine measures on the entire territory of the republic.

"For the safety of our population, tough quarantine is imposed in our region. Starting from tomorrow, residents of the Chechen Republic are prohibited from leaving their homes for reasons other than going to a pharmacy or a grocery shop, or if they don’t have an urgent medical necessity," he said. "Up until now, patrol cars were merely driving along and calling citizens to remain in self-isolation. Starting from tomorrow, people will be taken back home and fined according to the law."

He also announced that passengers without face masks and medical gloves will not be allowed to use public transport and licensed taxis.

So far, only 12 people tested positive for novel coronavirus in Chechnya, the infection was later confirmed in five of them. Some 820 people are under medical supervision.

In late December 2019, Chinese authorities notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus - named COVID-19 by the WHO - have been reported in more than 160 countries.

The WHO on March 11 declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. As of now, more than 575,000 people have been infected around the world and over 26,000 have died. Russia has 1,264 confirmed coronavirus cases, while 49 people recovered. According to the federal coronavirus prevention headquarters, four patients died, even though the fifth death was reported but this information needs to be verified.