February 19, 2020 - 10:43 AMT
Russia bans Chinese nationals from entering country

Russia has decided to ban Chinese nationals from entering its territory amid the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, euronews reports.

The ban will be implemented from February 20.

It was announced by the office of the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Tatyana Golikova, following a meeting on preventing the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Russia.

"From 00:00 local time on February 20, 2020, the passage of citizens from the People’s Republic of China across the state border of the Russian Federation is temporarily suspended," the statement said.

The ban will affect Chinese citizens travelling for private, educational, working and tourist purposes, the statement added.

On Wednesday, February 19 morning, China reported an additional 136 deaths, bringing the total number of deaths there to 2,004, and the global death toll to 2,010. More than 74,000 people have now been infected by the virus in mainland China, with more than 1,000 other cases detected in 28 countries and regions.

So far Russia has had two confirmed cases of the Coronavirus, both Chinese citizens who have been hospitalised in Siberia.

Russia also previously halted visa-free entry for Chinese tour groups.