Georgia, Russia Close Land Border Due to Coronavirus - Tbilisi
14:55 GMT 15.03.2020(updated 16:45 GMT 15.03.2020)
TBILISI (Sputnik) - Georgia and Russia have decided to close the border for travelers due to coronavirus [COVID-19] pandemic, the Georgian government said on Sunday.
"By the order of Georgian Prime Minister [Giorgi Gakharia], Georgian Prime Minister's Special Representative for Relations with Russia Zurab Abashidze this morning held a phone conversation ... with Russian upper house lawmaker Grigory Karasin. Taking into account the risks of the spread of coronavirus during the conversation, the issue of temporarily suspending citizens crossing the border between Georgia and Russia from March 16 was assessed", the government said in a statement.
According to the Georgian government, Russians and Georgians could still return to their home countries.
The number of people diagnosed with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Georgia has reached 33, the government said on Sunday.
"Confirmed coronavirus cases - 33. Under quarantine - 427. Under hospital supervision - 73", the government said.
Most of the patients who tested positive had recently travelled to Italy, Iran or Spain, which are all in the top 10 most affected countries.
On 14 March, the number of COVID-19 cases in Georgia stood at 30.
Russia has registered 4 new cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country, the coronavirus response centre said on Sunday, adding that the total number of people infected with the virus in Russia has reached 63.
"Three cases have been registered in the Moscow Region, one in Tyumen Region", the centre said.
According to the centre, all people who got infected have recently visited countries that were hit hard with the coronavirus, namely Italy, France, Spain and Switzerland. Moreover, everyone who contacted them would be put under supervision, the health authorities said.
From a total of 63 coronavirus-infected patients — 60 are Russian citizens, two are Chinese citizens and one is Italian. Both Chinese citizens and one Russian have fully recovered from the virus.
On 11 March, the World Health Organisation declared the spread of COVID-19 a pandemic. More than 100 countries worldwide, including all European countries — with the exception of Montenegro — have confirmed coronavirus cases on their soil.
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