Russian news agencies say four new cases of coronavirus have been identified, bringing the country’s tally of confirmed cases to 17.
RIA-Novosti and Tass cited the department overseeing the government’s coronavirus response on March 7 as saying that three of the new cases were in the city of Lipetsk, about 200 kilometers south of Moscow. The other was reported in St. Petersburg.
Authorities said all four had returned to Russia from Italy in the last two weeks.
Three of the four have already recovered, officials said, though there was no immediate explanation for the delay in announcing the cases.
Russia has introduced mandatory screening of new arrivals from Italy at its airports.
Moscow city authorities, meanwhile, have ordered people coming to Russia from some of the worst-affected countries to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Authorities have also taken drastic measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus from China, where the virus first erupted.
The border with China has been all but shut down, leading to major economic disruption in the Amur River city of Blagoveshchensk, which has extensive trading ties with its Chinese neighbor, Heihe
Earlier, Russia’s military evacuated more than 140 Russian citizens from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, and then quarantined them outside a remote Siberian city.
It’s unclear if any of those people were ever diagnosed with symptoms.