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Iran Press TV

Moscow goes 'high alert', will jail people ignoring coronavirus self-isolation rules

Iran Press TV

Sunday, 08 March 2020 3:48 PM

In Moscow, there is now a 'high alert regime' and authorities have imposed extra measures to contain the outbreak of the new coronavirus; meanwhile, the battle against COVID-19 goes on in other parts of the globe.

The Moscow City Hall announced the alert on Sunday.

There could be prison terms of up to five years for people failing to self-isolate in their homes for two weeks after returning from the countries hardest hit by the virus.

Those who return from China, South Korea, Iran, France, Germany, Italy and Spain and other states showing possible "unfavorable" signs of coronavirus should self-isolate themselves at home for 14 days, the announcement said.

The self-isolation will be checked through the use of closed circuit TV cameras.

Since the novel coronavirus outbreak in China in December, it has infected more than 100,000 people globally and killed more than 3,400 and spread across more than 90 nations. The majority of cases and deaths remain in mainland China.

Russia has reported 15 cases of coronavirus infections so far.

Saudi Arabia, Persian Gulf states report more COVID-19 cases

Several Persian Gulf Arab states have recorded new cases of the virus. Saudi Arabia has detected four more infections, updating the toll to 11.

The Saudi Health Ministry said on Sunday that the newly diagnosed individuals, three of whom are women, had interacted with another case but did not disclose that fact to the authorities.

On Saturday, the Saudi government restricted land crossings with the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Bahrain to commercial trucks only and said passenger arrivals will be limited to three Saudi airports.

In Kuwait, the health ministry reported two more infections, raising the total to 64.

The Central Bank of Kuwait said on Sunday it was setting up a 10-million-dinar ($32.79 million) fund to support state efforts to fight the disease.

Qatari authorities have announced three more cases to bring the total to 15.

Persian Gulf states have canceled or postponed conferences, sporting events and concerts due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Oman has canceled all events at the Royal Opera House in the capital Muscat that had been scheduled for March and April as well as tours of the site, state news agency ONA said on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Bahrain will hold the Formula One Grand Prix on March 22 as 'a participants-only event,' the organizers said. This could be a blow to the country's vital tourism sector.

Bahrain has reported 83 cases of the virus, claiming that most of them were linked to people who had traveled to Iran.

The Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, scheduled for April 19, has already been postponed.

In Europe, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis said on Sunday that Italy should ban all its citizens from traveling to Europe in order to curb the outbreak.

Italy imposed a virtual lockdown across a swathe of its wealthy north earlier on Sunday, including the financial capital Milan, in a drastic new containment attempt.

"Italy should ban all its citizens from traveling to Europe, because we are not able to order such a thing within (the European Union's borderless area) Schengen," Babis said on Czech Television on Sunday.

The Czech Republic has reported 26 confirmed cases of the infection as of Saturday evening, most involving persons either traveling from Italy or in contact with someone who has been there.

South Korea reports lowest number of infections in days

Hundreds of churches across South Korea closed their doors Sunday and held online services as the country reported its lowest number of cases in more than a week.

South Korea, which has the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases outside China with 7,313, added 272 new cases Sunday, far below daily increases of around 500 recently.

Two more people died, bringing the death toll to 50, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Despite the smaller rise in COVID-19 cases, we are not at a point where we can say the situation has improved," said Health Minister Park Neung-hoo.

Most of the country's infections are linked to the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, a religious sect often condemned as a cult.

Scores of events have been canceled or postponed over the contagion, with school and kindergarten breaks extended by three weeks nationwide.

Bangladesh confirms its first 3 cases of coronavirus

The confirmed cases were announced by the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR).

The infected people are aged between 20 and 35 and two of them returned from Italy recently, IEDCR Director Meerjady Sabrina told reporters on Sunday.

In Vietnam, coronavirus cases jump to 29

The new cases in Vietnam confirmed on Sunday include eight foreign tourists arriving in Hanoi on a Vietnam Airlines flight from London, the Vietnam Health Ministry said in a statement.

The first 16 cases in the country have been cured and released from hospitals, and there have been no deaths.

The ministry said 101 suspected coronavirus cases are quarantined in the country while 23,228 others are being monitored.

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