Turkey cited as source of 90% of imported COVID cases into Russia

The vast majority of imported COVID-19 cases into Russia came from Turkey, according to the Russian news agency Interfax. 

“In our overall monitoring, out of the total number of detected cases - more than 10 thousand positive cases - 90 percent are people who returned from the Republic of Turkey,” Anna Popova, head of Russian health regulator Rosprotrebnadzor, told a meeting of Russia’s council for combatting the coronavirus. 

Popova noted that since travel links were restored between the two countries on August 1, almost 1.5 million people have returned to Russia from vacations in Turkey. 

Turkey is among the most popular destinations for Russian tourists. Flights from Russia to Turkey were halted in March because of the pandemic but service resumed in August between cities in the two countries. 

A Turkish air industry source told Interfax that officials started discussions on possible cuts in the number of flights again.  

“The issue of reducing the intensity of flights is being studied on a mutual basis. First of all, this may affect charter flights,” said the Interfax source. 

Russia recorded a total of 18,648 cases of COVID-19 as of November 3 and over 28,000 deaths. Turkey also has been experiencing a surge in new cases with a total of 379,775 cases according to the Turkish health ministry.