05:33 GMT10 April 2020
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    2020 Coronavirus Outbreak (445)
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Russian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday advised citizens to refrain from traveling to South Korea, Iran, and Italy, which have been severely hit by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

    "In connection with the outbreak of the new coronavirus infection in the Republic of Korea, the Islamic Republic of Iran and several regions of the Italian Republic and in order to prevent its spread to the Russian Federation's territory, the Russian Foreign Ministry recommends that Russian citizens temporarily refrain from traveling to the Republic of Korea, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Italian Republic, unless it is extremely urgent", the ministry said in a statement.

    Moreover, the ministry called on all Russian nationals who are currently in those three countries to communicate their contact details via email or hotlines listed on the embassies' websites.

    Meanwhile, according to the association of tour operators of Russia, less than 1,000 Russian tourists are currently staying in South Korea.

    Originating in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late December, COVID-19 has since infected over 81,200 people worldwide, resulting in the deaths of over 2,750 people. More than a third of individuals who contracted the disease have recovered. However, the outbreak is gaining pace in Europe, as several European countries, including Austria, Switzerland, and Croatia, have reported their first confirmed cases in recent days.

    2020 Coronavirus Outbreak (445)
    tourism, health, travel, pneumonia, infection, virus, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Russia
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