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Frightened 10yo girl forcibly tested for coronavirus in St. Petersburg – medics to be disciplined

Frightened 10yo girl forcibly tested for coronavirus in St. Petersburg – medics to be disciplined
While it's not quite panic stations yet, Russians are taking few chances with the new Chinese coronavirus. The Far Eastern border has been locked down, many flights routes closed, and Chinese migrant worker visas restricted.

Other initiatives have included the mass screening of tourists returning from travel in Asia, and the cancellation of a showpiece investment forum in Sochi. Meanwhile, one television show took things into the realm of the absurd by suggesting US President Donald Trump might be to blame for the outbreak.

However, in one shocking case from St. Petersburg, some medical staff went too far. Disciplinary proceedings will now be brought against specialists who entered the apartment of a 10-year-old girl, taking biomaterial for analysis without her parents' knowledge while she was home alone.

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That's according to Svetlana Agapitova, the commissioner for children's rights in the country's second city.

The girl's mother told the local children's ombudsman that the reason for the unexpected visit was her daughter's recent trip to China.

"A week has passed since then. During this time, no one contacted the family or invited [her] for any medical checks," Agapitova explained. "But on January 30, at about 19:00, people in protective masks stood at the doorway of their apartment."

The girl opened the door and told them that her parents were not at home, and she was unable to get in contact with her mother. However, the specialists insisted that the analysis be taken, and the frightened girl agreed.

Her mother later discovered that the check had been carried out by employees of the local clinic, in conjunction with federal consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor.
Rospotrebnadzor admitted that there was a protocol violation and promised to punish those responsible. Agapitova also noted that the girl's mother should teach her daughter not to open the door to strangers.

As the Chinese coronavirus continues to spread around the world, Russian authorities are monitoring all incoming flights from China, with many other precautions still in place. Some 1,018 people have already died from the virus, according to official data, and globally more than 43,000 are infected.

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