Skip to main content
01 Feb 2020 | 03:41 PM UTC

Russia: Government to repatriate citizens in China amid novel coronavirus outbreak February 3-4 /update 4

Military to begin evacuation of Russian citizens from China on February 3 amid novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak

health
RUS

Event

According to government officials, the Russian Air Force will evacuate Russian citizens from China between Monday, February 3, and Tuesday, February 4, due to health concerns related to the ongoing coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak. There are currently 300 Russian nationals in Wuhan, where the virus originated, and another 341 in surrounding areas of Hubei province.

Authorities also announced that issuance of work visas to Chinese citizens would be temporarily halted, and visa-free travel for Chinese tourist groups would be suspended amid the outbreak. The restrictions are in effect as of Sunday, February 2.

Further international spread of the 2019-nCoV virus is to be expected over the coming days and weeks. Additional travel interruptions and screening measures at travel hubs are also likely in the short term.

Context

The first case of 2019-nCoV was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan. Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in more than 20 countries and territories worldwide. Human-to-human transmission has been confirmed in Germany, Japan, the US, and Vietnam. Virus screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On January 30, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the ongoing novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak is a "public health emergency of international concern."

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Potentially impacted travelers are advised to monitor the situation, confirm travel itineraries, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments. Individuals are advised to take precautionary measures to reduce their risk of contracting the virus:

  • Avoid all contact with animals (dead or alive); avoid eating animal products that are undercooked; avoid all markets where animals are sold
  • Avoid all close contact with people displaying symptoms of the disease (e.g. difficulties breathing)
  • Frequently wash hands, wear a face mask
  • Individuals within China developing symptoms of pneumonia are advised to seek medical attention, avoid contact with other people, and wash hands regularly
  • Adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments
  • Travelers returning from China developing symptoms of pneumonia are advised to call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to avoid spread of the disease