February 10, 2020 / 1:03 PM / 12 days ago

Russia quarantines Chinese diplomat as coronavirus precaution - Interfax

FILE PHOTO: A member of Sheremetyevo International Airport's security service wears a protective mask outside Moscow, Russia February 4, 2020. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File Photo

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian authorities have quarantined a Chinese diplomat as a safety precaution against the coronavirus outbreak, the Interfax news agency reported on Monday.

Consul General Cui Shaochun arrived in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg on Thursday to take up his new post but was told to stay at home for two weeks, Russian foreign ministry official Alexander Kharlov was quoted as saying.

The Chinese consulate in Yekaterinburg did not answer calls on Monday.

Russia has reported two cases of the coronavirus and has isolated hundreds of Russian and Chinese nationals who recently arrived from China to screen them for the virus.

Nearly 150 people who were evacuated from the epicentre of the outbreak, the Chinese city of Wuhan, have been placed in a fenced-off recreation facility in Siberia near the location where one of the infected people is receiving treatment.

More than 100 Chinese citizens are quarantined in a sanatorium in Yekaterinburg or in a dormitory in a nearby town.

The overall death toll from the epidemic has passed 900, with all but two of the deaths in mainland China.

Reporting by Maria Tsvetkova, editing by Thomas Balmforth, Jon Boyle and Timothy Heritage

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