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Sixth coronavirus case confirmed in St Petersburg as cases in Russia climb to 60

Several Space Research Institute employees quarantined after trip to Europe

Test systems for coronavirus available in all Russian regions

Moscow - Berlin trains suspended due to coronavirus

A man, who returned from Italy to St. Petersburg on March 8, tested positive for the coronavirus becoming the sixth patient in the Russian second-largest city, the coronavirus task force told TASS on Saturday.

"The sick person was a man. He came to St. Petersburg from Italy on March 8 and was taken to hospital on March 12," the spokesperson said.

With this latest reported case, the confirmed cases of the COVID-19 in the country has now reach at least sixty. There has been a spike in coronavirus cases in Russia, from 45 to 60 over the past 24 hours, but all the 15 Russians infected with the novel coronavirus travelled to the European Union in the past two weeks, the coronavirus task force told reporters on Saturday.

Among them are 56 Russians, two Chinese and one Italian. Two more Chinese nationals, one Russian man and the Russian nationals evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship were discharged from hospitals after recovering from the disease.

On Friday, St. Petersburg Governor Alexander Beglov told reporters that by that day five coronavirus cases had been registered in the city. Among the patients is a ten-year-old child. All the infected people had travelled abroad. They are being treated in hospital.

St. Petersburg’s authorities banned mass gatherings of more than 1,000 people from March 16 until April 30.

In late December 2019, a pneumonia outbreak caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus (previously known as 2019-nCoV) was reported in China’s city of Wuhan, an economic and industrial megacity with a population of 12 million. After the coronavirus broke out of China’s Hubei province, it spread across China and then around the world affecting more than 120 countries.

The World Health Organization (WHO) characterized the outbreak as a pandemic on March 11. According to the WHO data, around 140,000 cases of patients infected with the novel coronavirus have been confirmed up to now. 

The virus’ death toll has surpassed 5,000. Russia handles 56 coronavirus cases so far. On Saturday, the country set up a coordinating center to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, several employees of the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences were quarantined after visiting European countries, press service of the Institute told TASS.
"Several Institute employees are quarantined after the return from European countries," the press service said.
Team leaders were familiarized with the directive "on preventive work and operating procedure in case of suspected coronavirus infection," the Institute said. At the same time, no visits of foreign delegations have been canceled by now, the press service added.
The state space corporation Roscosmos told TASS earlier about limiting overseas business trips of their staff due to the coronavirus spread.
Also, test systems for identification of the new coronavirus are available in each Russian region in sufficient quantities, press service of the Russian consumer rights and health control watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said.

"Test systems for coronavirus identification are currently available in all constituencies of the Russian Federation. Everyone that traveled to countries where the disease is registered, everyone being in contact with those having the developed illness and everyone with pneumonia symptoms even if they did not visit foreign states are screened for the coronavirus infection," the regulator said.

All the diagnostic laboratories of the agency in Russia have required equipment in sufficient numbers and specialists for use of developed diagnostic tools, Rospotrebnadzor said.

As one of the counter measure to stop the spread of the COVID-19 by the authorities, trains from Moscow to Berlin are temporarily suspended in connection with the notice from the Polish Railways concerning the closure of railway traffic across the country, Russian Railways reports.
Trains with the destination in Moscow will stop making trips on March 16. The train from Moscow to Berlin departed on March 14 in accordance with the schedule.
Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki said earlier that the country made the decision to close its borders. The railway traffic and air passenger traffic were suspended at night from March 14 to 15. The train from Moscow to Paris running across the territory of Poland will be canceled on March 17.
Trains from Moscow to Nice and direct railcars of Moscow-Prague-Moscow route were temporarily suspended earlier.

(TASS)

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