Russia is deploying radiation, chemical, and biological protection unit troops of the Black Sea Fleet from occupied Crimean peninsula to occupied Abkhazia in a bid to “help combat the novel coronavirus,” Interfax, a Russian news agency has reported.
Presently, a convoy 13 special purpose vehicles, including mobile units for aerosol disinfection, and chemical and biological decontamination vehicles are advancing to the occupied region, Interfax stated on the authority of Russian Military’s press service.
According to the source, upon their arrival, troops will set up makeshift bases for carrying out disinfection and sanitation activities together with Abkhaz physicians.
Moscow-backed Abkhaz authorities registered the first case of the novel coronavirus on April 7. The infected patient reportedly arrived in Gagra, Georgia’s westernmost town, after having returned from a trip to Moscow. As of April 17, Abkhazia has confirmed three COVID-19 patients, all of them belonging to Gagra cluster of patients.
Fearing the outbreak, acting Abkhaz leader Valery Bganba declared a state of emergency in the region on March 27 effective until April 20.
Prior to that, on February 25, Sokhumi extended a travel ban barring “foreign nationals,” except Russian Federation citizens. Abkhaz authorities restricted the travel for Russian citizens into the occupied region on March 28, as the confirmed cases surpassed 1,000 in the Russian Federation.
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- COVID-19: Occupied Abkhazia Declares State of Emergency until April 20