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Russian Defence Ministry Sets Up Operational HQs to Prevent Spread of COVID-19 in Armed Forces

© Sputnik / SpuAlexandr Kryazhev / Go to the photo bankSpecial Forces competition in Novosibirsk
Special Forces competition in Novosibirsk - Sputnik International
The number of patients infected with COVID-19 in Russia has increased by 52 people over the past 24 hours, the country's operational headquarters for preventing the spread of coronavirus said earlier in the day.

The Russian Defence Ministry has set up an operational headquarters led by First Deputy Defence Minister Ruslan Tsalikov to prevent the spread of COVID-19 cases in the armed forces, according to an official statement.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoygu has stated that no military commanders in Russia have tested positive for coronavirus.

According to Shoigu, the spring call-up of draftees will run as scheduled – from 1 April to 15 July. All conscripts will be tested for the coronavirus before being sent to the armed forces.

As part of efforts to prevent the coronavirus from seeping into the armed forces, the ministry has suspended receiving foreign representatives and sending delegations abroad, the minister stated. All mass cultural and sports events in the army held outside military facilities will be also suspended.

The statement comes after Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin on 14 March ordered tighter screening at airports and train stations throughout the weekend to prevent the coronavirus from being imported.

So far, Russia has confirmed 199 cases of COVID-19, with one fatality.

An employee of German biopharmaceutical company CureVac, demonstrates research workflow on a vaccine for the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease at a laboratory in Tuebingen, Germany, March 12, 2020 - Sputnik International
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On 11 March, the COVID-19 outbreak was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation. Coronavirus fears have already prompted many countries worldwide to shut their borders to foreigners.

Globally, over 222,000 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed, including over 9,000 fatalities and more than 84,000 recoveries, according to Johns Hopkins University, which gathers statistics from various official national and international sources. The epicentre of the pandemic has now shifted from China to Europe, where the total number of those infected has surpassed 80,000.

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