Wuhan virus: Russia to shut border with China, stop issuing electronic visas to Chinese nationals

An official of Russian Quarantine Service of Rospotrebnadzor using a thermal-imaging device to remotely measure the temperature of passengers at the Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow on Jan 30, 2020.
An official of Russian Quarantine Service of Rospotrebnadzor using a thermal-imaging device to remotely measure the temperature of passengers at the Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow on Jan 30, 2020.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

MOSCOW (AFP) - Russia said on Thursday (Jan 30) it was closing its border with China to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus and would stop issuing electronic visas to Chinese nationals.

Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin told a government meeting that the order had been signed "to take measures to close the border (with China) in the Far East".

"We have to do everything to protect our people," he said.

The Russian foreign ministry said that as of Thursday it would stop issuing Chinese citizens with electronic visas, which can be used to cross into parts of the Far East and western Russia.

The foreign ministry also advised Russians to refrain from travelling to China and for those in China to get in touch with the Russian embassy.

Russia does not have any confirmed cases of the new virus but the Russian government has set up a task force to prevent its possible spread.