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Moscow targets Chinese with raids amid virus fears

Police officers were ordered to conduct raids to track down the shrinking number of Chinese nationals left in the Russian capital.

MOSCOW, Russia — Russian authorities are going to significant lengths to keep the virus in China from surfacing in Moscow.

Local officials ordered police raids of hotels, dormitories, apartment buildings and businesses to track down the shrinking number of Chinese nationals left in the capital.

They also authorized using facial recognition technology to find people suspected of evading a 14-day quarantine upon arrival from China.

City bus drivers complained to their union about instructions to call dispatchers if they spot Chinese passengers. Subway workers with questionnaires are stopping riders thought to be from China.

Far away in the city of Yekaterinburg, Cossack patrols are handing out masks and strong advice to Chinese community members.

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This is happening while South Korea and China have reported a rise in new virus cases and a diplomatic row erupted after Israel turned back a South Korean airliner.

The South Korean prime minister said the virus had entered a “more grave stage.”

The death toll in Iran climbed to six, the highest outside China, and a dozen towns in northern Italy effectively went into lockdown as authorities tested hundreds of people who came into contact with an estimated 79 confirmed cases there.

In South Korea, 113 of the 123 new cases came from the fourth-largest city of Daegu and surrounding areas, linked to a local church and a hospital.

Mainland China reported 648 new infections for a total of 76,936.

In January, the United States has declared a public health emergency because of the virus.

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