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  Tuesday, January 26, 2021
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Hygienic controls over people arriving in Russia from Turkey and adjacent countries need to be tightened following an outbreak of bird flu in Turkey
Hygienic controls over people arriving in Russia from Turkey and adjacent countries need to be tightened following an outbreak of bird flu in Turkey, Russia's chief doctor said Tuesday. Gennady Onishchenko was speaking after a bird flu outbreak killed three children in a remote region in eastern Turkey and people tested positive for the virus across the country. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Russian Embassy in Ankara said the Turkish authorities were not planning to impose any restrictions on the movement of foreign tourists and Muslim pilgrims returning from Mecca through Turkey. Onishchenko said earlier that thousands of Russian pilgrims would be crossing the eastern regions of Turkey where bird flu has broken out on their way back from Saudi Arabia and pledged that Russian epidemiologists would do everything possible to prevent the deadly H5N1 strain of the virus from spreading to R,ussia. So far, Russian experts have only identified the H5 strain of the virus in the country, which is considerably less dangerous than the H5N1 sub-strain that led to fatalities in Asia and has now spread further abroad. "A medical expert is accompanying every group of pilgrims, so we will know whether people are ill by the time they reach the Russian border," Onishchenko said. The Turkish authorities have said they are not intending to restrict the movement of the country's residents either and have only advised people to avoid contacts with poultry, and to observe hygiene regulations.
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