February 12, 2020 / 6:34 AM / 3 months ago

Russia discharges second Chinese national to recover from coronavirus

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia discharged a Chinese national from hospital in the Siberian city of Chita on Wednesday after he recovered from a coronavirus infection, local authorities said.

He was the second of Russia’s two confirmed cases of coronavirus to recover. The other patient, also a Chinese national, was said by authorities on Tuesday to have recovered and been released from quarantine in Siberia’s Tyumen region.

Russia has isolated hundreds of Russian and Chinese nationals for virus screening upon arrival from China. A Chinese diplomat was quarantined as a precaution last week in the city of Yekaterinburg.

Russia, which has a 4,300 km (2,670-mile) land border with China, has heavily restricted travel to its neighbor. The flu-like virus has killed more than 1,100 people, all but two in mainland China.

The head of Russia’s consumer health watchdog said on Monday that more than 20,000 people were under observation for signs of infection. More than 6,000 of those were Chinese nationals, the official, Anna Popova, said.

Some Russians have opposed quarantine centers being set up in their region and two facilities in the region of Chelyabinsk were shut shortly after being opened because of local protests, the Znak regional media outlet reported.

In St. Petersburg, a woman described on Instagram how she escaped from a hospital on Friday where she had been put in quarantine after she reported having a sore throat following a holiday in China.

She said doctors had given her a clean bill of health, but that she had not been allowed home despite her asking.

The hospital’s head doctor said on Tuesday she had flouted a 14-day quarantine period and also accused her of damaging hospital property during her escape, the Fontanka media outlet reported.

Reporting by Tom Balmforth and Gleb Stolyarov; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Alex Richardson

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