Russia loosens anti-coronavirus restrictions for post-Soviet allies

Moscow (dpa) - Russia has excluded visitors from allied post-Soviet countries from an entry ban imposed to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, Russian news agency Interfax reported on Monday.

The entry ban, previously imposed against all non-diplomat foreigners without a residency permit, has been amended to allow temporary visitors from the Commonwealth of the Independent States, which comprises most former Soviet countries.
Russia has reported about 430 cases of the new coronavirus. Only one person with the virus is reported to have died in Russia, a 79-year-old woman with prior health problems.
Playing down the impact of the disease, the Russian government later emphasized that the woman did not die directly from the virus, and her death was not reported in the official statistics on Monday.
The government has held up its relatively early response to the crisis in neighbouring China, particularly its border-crossing restrictions, as having successfully limited the spread of the virus onto Russian territory.
The federal government has also authorized authorities to monitor the mobile phone data of coronavirus patients to assess potential risk of infection to others, state media reported.

Monday, March 23rd 2020

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