MOSCOW, January 29. /TASS/. A new type of coronavirus 2019-nCoV continues to spread in China: 6,012 people have been infected, with 132 confirmed deaths. In one month, the new virus has surpassed the 2002-2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which lasted for six months, infecting 5,327 people and killing 349 of those infected.
Practically all regions of China have confirmed cases of the coronavirus, with the Hubei province remaining the epicenter of the virus with its administrative center in Wuhan, populated by 11 million people. There have been cases of the coronavirus detected in 15 states; however, the virus’ incidence rate remains low outside of China. Russia has examined 139 people with symptoms of respiratory infections, but no cases of the 2019-nCoV virus have been confirmed.
The Russian Embassy in China is discussing the possibility of evacuating Russian citizens located in the Hubei province. It is impossible to leave the province, as it is under quarantine. According to the embassy, at least 177 Russian citizens are in the Hubei province currently, with 120 located in Wuhan. Earlier, Japan transported 206 of its citizens on a special flight from Wuhan, with two of the passengers hospitalized on suspicion of pneumonia. The US, France and South Korea also announced plans to evacuate their citizens from the area.
On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin held a session with Russian officials tasked with avoiding the spread of the disease in Russia. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova reminded that the Russian government had taken several steps to avoid the spread of the disease, namely, enhanced monitoring of the epidemiologic situation, increased control at border crossings and special training of medical professionals in case the virus is detected. She added that "immediate isolation of people suspected of being infected with the disease and the corresponding medical control" had been discussed.
Head of the Russian Federal Service for the Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare Anna Popova informed that as of now, over 20,000 flights arriving to Russia from regions with detected cases of coronavirus have been examined, with over 1 mln people checked for symptoms of the virus. The official pointed out that Russian medical professionals are developing a more reliable system of detection, as the new type of coronavirus has symptoms similar to the regular flu. Popova added that practically all Russian regions had approved plans to combat the virus.
Several states are applying security measures, especially those bordering China or serving as popular tourist destinations for Chinese nationals. On Wednesday, Vietnam announced that it would temporarily stop receiving Chinese tourists. Kazakhstan stated that it would suspend transport connection with China in the coming days, also suspending issuance of visas to Chinese citizens.