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Russia Restricts Iran Travellers Over Coronavirus

Coronavirus in Iran, Baghiatollah Hospital in Tehran
Coronavirus in Iran, Baghiatollah Hospital in Tehran
Moscow, Feb 28, 2020 (AFP) -

Moscow on Friday announced new restrictions on travel to Russia from Iran and South Korea, two countries hit hardest by the outbreak of the new coronavirus.

In a statement, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin announced a temporary suspension of visas for Iranians travelling to Russia for education, employment, tourism and transit.

A separate decree imposed restrictions on travel to Russia from South Korea, with exceptions including members of official delegations.

Moscow on Wednesday advised Russians against travel to Italy, Iran and South Korea, amid a spike in infections.

On Friday, South Korea reported 315 new cases of the virus, bringing the total to 2,337, including at least 13 dead.

Iran said Thursday it had recorded an additional 106 cases, bringing the total in the Islamic Republic to 245, of which 26 had proven fatal.

The travel bans announced Friday follows dramatic steps taken by officials in Moscow to control the spread of the virus in Russia, such as the closure of its 4,250-kilometre (2,640-mile) shared border with China.

Two infected Chinese citizens have been treated in Russia, which has also repatriated and quarantined eight passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan, of whom three have tested positive.