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2 Mar, 2020 16:05

1st case of new coronavirus for Russian citizen on home soil, patient had visited Italy

Surrounded by countries with Covid-19 infections, including the epicenter China, the law of averages decreed that Russia’s virus-free status wouldn’t last long. On Monday, the worst fears were realized with a diagnosis in Moscow.
1st case of new coronavirus for Russian citizen on home soil, patient had visited Italy

The case concerns a young Russian citizen who fell sick on vacation in Italy. He flew back to Russia on February 23, and a few days later went to a clinic in Moscow Region with symptoms of an acute respiratory viral infection, which was initially believed to be SARS. Subsequently, he was hospitalized in an infectious diseases hospital. His situation is currently described as stable.

The man is the fourth known Russian national to be infected, but the first inside the country. Two Chinese citizens diagnosed in Siberia in February have since recovered and been discharged. Three Russians fell ill with Covid-19 on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan, and were later evacuated. Also on Monday, it was reported that a foreign citizen who transited through a Moscow airport from Iran to China, on an Aeroflot flight, had been found to have the disease.

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The operational headquarters for monitoring and controlling the situation confirmed the results on Monday. “The circle of persons with whom he visited Italy and talked to after returning home was immediately determined,” its report said. “They are under medical supervision, either in a hospital or at home.”

The official release doesn’t indicate the name or age of the man. However, Dutch news outlet the Moscow Times reported that he is a 29-year-old Muscovite. The patient complained about how medical personnel had handled his illness, saying he “was placed in a room with five other men who had also recently returned from hubs for the outbreak: Italy, Iran and South Korea.”

The new coronavirus first appeared in China in late December, in the city of Wuhan. Incidents have so far been recorded in 53 countries. At the time of writing, the number of cases worldwide is almost 90,000, with over 3,000 dead. More than 44,000 patients have recovered.

To fight the spread of Covid-19, the Russian government has already banned most Chinese citizens from entering the country and closed sections of the border with China in the Far East. A month ago, Russian Railways suspended services to China, and flights were restricted. Train travel to Italy has also been canceled, but aviation remains as normal.

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