Russia closing its land border with China

BEIJING — Russia is closing its land border with China, similar to steps taken by Mongolia and North Korea, to guard against a new viral outbreak.

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin issues the decree Thursday, ordering the 2,600-mile land border with China closed starting Friday. It had been de facto closed because of the Lunar New Year holiday, but Russian authorities say the closure would be extended until March 1.

Train traffic between the countries is halted except for one train connecting Moscow and Beijing. But no decision has been made about air traffic between Russia and China. Some countries have reduced flights and airlines have halted them because of the new virus that has sickened thousands in central China.

Russia has not confirmed any cases of the virus. The dozens of cases outside China mostly have been in people who visited Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak.

— AP

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