14:13 GMT19 February 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia has suspended passenger train service with China, starting 3 February, over over the outbreak of a new Wuhan coronavirus in the eastern Asian nation, state company Russian Railways said on Sunday.

    On 31 January, Russian Railways restricted passenger railway service with China, leaving only direct trains between Moscow and Beijing.

    Now, all trains to and from China are canceled. The decision takes effect at midnight Moscow time on 3 February (21:00 GMT 2 February).

    On 31 January, two first cases of the new Wuhan coronavirus were confirmed in Russia, in the Zabaikalsky territory and in the Tyumen region.

    On 1 February, Russia’s S7 Airlines said it had canceled all flights from Russia to China starting from 1 February and all those from China to Russia starting from Sunday 2 February over the outbreak.

    Russia is part of a long list of countries and airlines around the world that have canceled flights and transportation service to and from China amid the threat of infection, including American Airlines, Delta, United Airlines, British Airlines, Lufthansa, Finnair, EL AI, Scandinavian Airlines, Air India, Air Canada and others.

    The new strain of the deadly Wuhan coronavirus — 2019-nCoV — was reportedly first detected in Wuhan in December 2019 and has since spread to more than 20 countries. The virus has already killed over 361 people in China and one person in the Philippines and infected about 17,205 others, prompting authorities from various countries to evacuate their nationals from virus-affected areas.

    The World Health Organization declared a global health emergency on 30 January in light of the outbreak.


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