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#7 - JRL 7168
May 5, 2003
First SARS case in Russia

A 25-year man showing all symptoms of the the pneumonia-like SARS virus (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) was hospitalized in the city of Blagoveshchensk in the Amur region, the First Channel reports. The man lived in a hospital where Chinese tourists stayed. The diagnosis has not been finally confirmed, as doctors are still waiting for the results of the medical tests that will be ready by Thursday.

This person has not left Russia for a month. Quarantine was announced, and the hotel was cordoned off by the police. The inhabitants are being provided with food and water.

Additional security measures are being taken in the Khabarovsk region in connection with the spreading of the deadly virus in China. In particular, sending tourist groups to countries where SARS cases were registered, has been temporarily suspended.

According to the press center of the Khabarovsk regional administration, short-term visits to such countries by foreign citizens and stateless persons, both temporarily staying and permanently living in the Khabarovsk region, has been banned.

The Interior Department of the Khabarovsk region has also stopped issuing permits for the import of foreign workforce, as well as invitations for foreign citizens from countries where SARS cases have been reported. The Khabarovsk region's Health Ministry, together with the Center for State Sanitary and Epidemiological Control, has been assigned to organize obligatory medical examination of passengers from south-east Asia at the international terminal of the Khabarovsk airport. Holding international events with the participation of delegations from countries with an unstable SARS situation has also been banned in the Khabarovsk region, until further notice. The regional administration has allocated $2m for the creation of the necessary reserve for financing the diagnostics and treatment of the disease. The authorities will consider the suspension of flights between Khabarovsk and Harbin within the next few days.

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