Russian health authorities have reported over 850,000 cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country as of Monday, August 3. With the current total at 854,641 cases with 14,183 associated fatalities. The country currently has the fourth-largest number of confirmed cases in the world, behind the US, Brazil, and India.
International commercial flights to certain destinations resumed on Saturday, August 1, following a months-long border closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. International flights to the UK, Turkey, and Tanzania were the first to resume, with limited flights departing from airports in Moscow, St Petersburg, and Rostov-on-Don. Foreign travelers arriving in Russia will be required to present negative COVID-19 test results that are less than 72-hours old upon arrival. Talks are reportedly underway with a further 30 countries regarding the resumption of flights.
While the majority of restrictions have been eased nationwide, responsibility for these measures has been delegated to regional authorities and restrictions may differ from region to region. Social distancing measures and facemasks are mandatory in many places.
Further international spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the virus.
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