News:

Kremlin sees no grounds to introduce state of emergency over coronavirus in Russia

Russian Putin discusses measures to contain COVID-19 with Finnish Niinisto, Estonian Kaljulaid

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday that there are no grounds for introducing a state of emergency in Russia over the spread of the novel coronavirus for now.

"There been neither ideas nor grounds for this [introducing a state of emergency - TASS] nor decisions," Peskov said.

The confirmed cases of coronavirus as of Monday stood at 93 with at least 10% treated and discharged.

The COVID-19 outbreak was first registered in central China in late December 2019. 

Following the spread of the virus to the all regions of the world, the World Health Organization has since recognized the situation with the novel coronavirus as a pandemic on March 11. 

Outside China which is the epicentre, the worst affected countries are Italy, South Korea and Iran.

Overall, more than 130 countries have reported confirmed coronavirus cases while WHO says that the novel coronavirus cases globally have exceeded 160,000, with more than 6,000 deaths (over 3,200 in China).
Russian Putin discusses measures to combat COVID-19 with Estonian leader


Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has discussed coronavirus fighting issues with his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto, the Kremlin press service said.

"The heads of state have exchanged information on measures implemented to contained the coronavirus infection spread," the message says. "The sides have agreed that possible decisions on border checkpoints operation would be taken in close cooperation between relevant services and agencies."

The Finnish President’s administration underscored that "the two presidents have expressed a shared opinion that coronavirus fight requires wide international cooperation."

"Niinisto also underscored the importance of information sharing," the message reads.

The conversation reportedly took place on Finland's initiative.

Similarly on Monday, President Putin and Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid discussed the measures taken to combat the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) during a phone call on Monday, the Kremlin press service informed. The phone call was held at the initiative of Estonia.
Russian Putin  and Finnish Niinisto

"The heads of state have exchanged information regarding the measures taken in Russia and Estonia aimed to avoid further spread of the coronavirus infection," the message informs. "They have discussed certain matters of cooperation in this regard."

For her part, Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid earlier commented on the phone call on Twitter on Monday. "And finally for today a phone call with Vladimir Putin. Discussed our measures to contain the spread of the virus and how to allow safe passage home to our respective citizens and permanent residents. We agreed that further communication must be direct and timely," she stated.

@KerstiKaljulaidAnd finally for today a phone call with Vladimir Putin. Discussed our measures to contain the spread of the virus and how to allow safe passage home to our respective citizens and permanent residents. We agreed that further communication must be direct and timely. #COVID2019

As of Monday morning, 205 cases of COVID-19 were documented in Estonia. The first case of the virus was reported in Estonia on February 27. On March 13, the Estonian government introduced a national emergency over the coronavirus outbreak. Starting March 17, Estonia reestablishes border control and introduces an entry ban for foreigners. According to TASS reports.

There are 93 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Russia.

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