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Iran Press TV

Russia will close land borders with Poland, Norway over coronavirus pandemic: Premier

Iran Press TV

Saturday, 14 March 2020 2:37 PM

Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin says Russia will close its land borders with Poland and Norway in a bid to curb the spread of the new coronavirus global pandemic.

The COVID-19 disease, caused by the new coronavirus, which emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year, is currently affecting 149 countries and territories across the globe. It has so far infected more than 148,000 people and killed more than 5,500 others.

Earlier this week, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic.

The Russian premier on Saturday said the new ban would "come into force at midnight on Saturday" and would apply to all foreigners traveling "for professional, private, study, or tourist reasons."

Mishustin added that Belarusians and members of official delegations and residents of Russia would be excepted from the ban.

Russia has a short land border with Poland in the enclave of Kaliningrad, which is sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania along the Baltic Coast, and one with far north of Norway, which runs for around 200 kilometers.

Poland says 84 people have so far been confirmed to be infected by the coronavirus with two deaths. Norway has reported more than 1,030 cases with a single death.

According to the latest official figures, 47 people have been tested positive in Russia for COVID-19, but no deaths have so far been reported.

On Friday, Moscow said it would cut the number of flights to and from the European Union (EU) to stem the spread of the virus. Italy, the gateway of the new coronavirus to the continent and the second hardest-hit country after China, has reported more than 17,600 confirmed cases and over 1,260 deaths.

Russia has already closed its border with China, with more than 80,820 cases and over 3,180 deaths, and limited the number of arrivals from Iran, with more than 12,720 cases and over 610 deaths, and South Korea, with more than 8,080 cases and over 72 deaths.

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