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26 Feb 2020 | 11:15 AM UTC

Russia: Government implements flight suspensions for South Korea March 1 /update 8

Russian government to suspend some flights to South Korea starting March 1; Iranian visas suspended as of February 28

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transportation
RUS

Event

On Wednesday, February 26, Russian government officials announced that flights to and from South Korea, with the exception of those operated by Aeroflot and Aurora (an Aeroflot subsidiary), will be suspended starting on Sunday, March 1, to prevent further spread of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova announced on Wednesday that starting Friday, February 28, Russia will no longer issue regular and transit travel visas to Iranian citizens. The deputy PM also advised Russian citizens against all travel to Italy. These new travel restrictions, along with those already in place, will be extended until Wednesday, April 1.

To date, there have been three confirmed cases of the virus in Russia. Further international spread of COVID-19 is to be expected over the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (China). 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 30 countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On February 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the COVID-19 outbreak is a "very grave threat."

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.

To reduce the general risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
  • When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue - throw tissue away immediately and wash hands
  • If you have fever, cough, and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider
  • Adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments

In the case that symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness emerge either during or after travel, travelers are encouraged to seek medical attention and share their travel history with their health care provider. Travelers returning from China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran, who develop symptoms of pneumonia are advised to call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to avoid potential spread of the disease.