While some countries clap for doctors, health workers in Russia face open hostility

While some countries clap for doctors, health workers in Russia face open hostility

CNN International·2020-05-29 12:03

Moscow (CNN)Frontline medical workers in the US, the UK and elsewhere may face major risks in their efforts to battle the coronavirus pandemic, but they've also seen an outpouring of public appreciation. In Russia, health workers say they face fear, mistrust -- and even open hostility.

Tatyana Revva, an intensive care specialist in the central district hospital of the city of Kalach-on-Don in southern Russia, shared a video in late March about equipment shortages with the Doctors Alliance, an advocacy group aligned with Russia's political opposition. After the video went viral, she said, she was summoned by local police about it.

"I was called to the police and gave a statement with a lawyer, but another statement against me was sent to the prosecutor's office," Revva told CNN via Skype after finishing a night shift.

Revva said law-enforcement investigators subsequently checked the availability of PPE and ventilators at her hospital.

"But the check was carried out a month after I flagged the problems," she said. "You can imagine how much had been purchased in a month after the buzz the video made."

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Revva says she has not been fined by the police but now fears professional retaliation. Police have not responded to CNN's request for comment. The hospital administration could not immediately be reached for comment, but the hospital's chief doctor, Oleg Kumeiko, said in a March 29 statement on YouTube that the information posted online about PPE shortages was "absolutely untrue."

Rumors and conspiracy theories abound in Russia about Covid-19: that the virus was invented by doctors to control society; that medical workers are hiding the true extent of the casualties from the public; or that medical personnel are falsely attributing deaths to Covid-19 to receive more money from the government.

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A health care worker holds the hand of a coronavirus patient being moved at a hospital near Barcelona, Spain, on April 9.

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Service boats spray water in London to show support for health care workers on April 9.

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Californians Sarah and Aaron Sanders, along with their children, use video conferencing to celebrate a Passover Seder with other family members on April 8.

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Cars in Wuhan line up to leave at a highway toll station.

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A woman in London shows her support for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on April 7. Johnson was hospitalized after his coronavirus symptoms "worsened," according to his office.

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Police detain a doctor in Quetta, Pakistan, who was among dozens of health care workers protesting a lack of personal protective equipment on April 6.

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A Catholic priest sprinkles holy water on devotees during Palm Sunday celebrations in Quezon City, Philippines, on Sunday, April 5.

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People shine lights from their balcony during a nationwide candlelight vigil in Bangalore, India, on April 5.

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A woman in Glasgow, Scotland, watches Britain's Queen Elizabeth II give a television address regarding the coronavirus pandemic.

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A police officer wearing a coronavirus-themed outfit walks in a market in Chennai, India, to raise awareness about social distancing.

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A woman in Moscow cooks while watching Russian President Vladimir Putin address the nation over the coronavirus pandemic.

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The hashtag "stayhome" is projected onto the Matterhorn mountain that straddles Switzerland and Italy on April 1. The mountain was illuminated by Swiss artist Gerry Hofstetter, who is transforming buildings, monuments and landscapes all over the world to raise awareness during the pandemic.

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Volunteers load food bags on a truck to deliver them to low-income families in Panama City, Panama, on April 1.

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Designer Friederike Jorzig adjusts a mannequin wearing a wedding dress and a face mask at her store in Berlin on March 31.

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People pray next to the grave of musician Robson de Souza Lopes after his burial in Manaus, Brazil, on March 31. According to authorities at the Amazonas Health Secretary, the 43-year-old died after being diagnosed with the novel coronavirus.

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Chris Lyndberg hands out a free lunch to a truck driver at a rest area along Interstate 10 in Sacaton, Arizona, on March 31. The Arizona Trucking Association was giving away 500 Dilly's Deli lunches to show its appreciation for truck drivers who have been delivering medical supplies, food and other necessities during the coronavirus pandemic.

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The USNS Comfort, a Navy hospital ship, reaches New York City on March 30. Another hospital ship is in Los Angeles. Both will take some of the pressure off medical facilities that are strained because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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An emergency field hospital is constructed in New York's Central Park on March 30.

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Farmers deliver vegetables to a customer in Saint-Georges-sur-Cher, France, on March 29.

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People listen from their homes as priests conduct Sunday mass from a church roof in Rome on March 29.

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Gyorgy David Jablonovszky and his bride, Timea, are joined by close relatives during their wedding ceremony in Miskolc, Hungary, on March 28. Because of the coronavirus, engaged couples across the globe have had to rethink their walks down the aisle.

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A worker fixes partitions at a quarantine center in Guwahati, India, on March 28.

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Devices used in diagnosing the coronavirus are inspected in Cheongju, South Korea, on March 27. The devices were being prepared for testing kits at the bio-diagnostic company SD Biosensor.

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A student does homework in Bratislava, Slovakia, on March 27. Schools have been shut down across the world, and many children have been receiving their lessons online.

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A National Guard truck sprays disinfectant in Caracas, Venezuela, on March 27.

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People wearing face masks walk near the USNS Mercy after the Navy hospital ship arrived in the Los Angeles area to assist local hospitals dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

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Pope Francis prays in an empty St. Peter's Square on March 27.

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Coffins carrying coronavirus victims are stored in a warehouse in Ponte San Pietro, Italy, on March 26. They would be transported to another area for cremation.

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Members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard prepare to take part in disinfecting the city of Tehran on March 25.

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Lydia Hassebroek attends a ballet class from her home in New York on March 25.

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People visit the Beijing Zoo on March 25 after it reopened its outdoor exhibits to the public.

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The Olympic flame is displayed in Iwaki, Japan, on March 25, a day after the 2020 Tokyo Games were postponed.

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A woman suspected of having coronavirus is helped from her home by emergency medical technicians Robert Sabia, left, and Mike Pareja, in Paterson, New Jersey, on March 24.

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People practice social distancing as they wait for takeout food at a shopping mall in Bangkok, Thailand, on March 24.

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Authorities are seen in Madrid, where an ice rink has been converted into a makeshift morgue to cope with the coronavirus fallout.

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A tourist wears a face mask while visiting the Badaling section of the Great Wall of China on March 24. The section reopened to visitors after being closed for two months.

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People arrive at the South Municipal Cemetery in Madrid to attend the burial of a man who died from the coronavirus.

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Passengers arrive at Hong Kong International Airport on March 23.

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Giuseppe Corbari holds Sunday Mass in front of photographs sent in by his congregation members in Giussano, Italy, on March 22. Many religious services are being streamed online so that people can worship while still maintaining their distance from others.

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People clap from balconies to show their appreciation for health care workers in Mumbai, India.

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A woman attends a Sunday service at the Nairobi Baptist Church in Nairobi, Kenya, on March 22. The service was streamed live on the internet.

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A Syrian Red Crescent member sprays disinfectant along an alley of the historic Hamidiyah market in Damascus, Syria.

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People are seen on California's Huntington Beach on March 21. Crowds descended on California beaches, hiking trails and parks over the weekend in open defiance of a state order to shelter in place and avoid close contact with others.

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A funeral service is held without family members in Bergamo, Italy, on March 21.

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A member of the Syrian Violet relief group disinfects tents at a camp for displaced people in Kafr Jalis, Syria, on March 21.

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A doctor examines Juan Vasquez inside a testing tent at St. Barnabas Hospital in New York on March 20.

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A Mass in Rio de Janeiro honors coronavirus victims around the world on March 18. Brazil's Christ the Redeemer statue was lit up with flags and messages of hope in solidarity with countries affected by the pandemic.

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Medical staff wearing protective suits ride down an escalator at Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport on March 18.

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Hasidic Jewish men take part in a "social distancing" minyan in New York on March 17.

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A patient in a biocontainment unit is carried on a stretcher in Rome on March 17.

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A pedestrian walks a dog through a quiet street in New York on March 17.

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People gather to collect free face masks in New Delhi on March 17.

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Dermot Hickey, left, and Phillip Vega ask a pedestrian in New York to take their picture on a thinly trafficked Fifth Avenue on March 17. Many streets across the world are much more bare as people distance themselves from others. In the United States, the White House advised people not to gather in groups of more than 10.

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Students at the Attarkiah Islamic School wear face masks during a ceremony in Thailand's southern province of Narathiwat on March 17.

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People wait outside a Woolworths store in Sunbury, Australia on March 17. Australian supermarket chains announced special shopping hours for the elderly and people with disabilities so that they can shop in less crowded aisles.

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A member of Spain's Military Emergencies Unit carries out a general disinfection at the Malaga airport on March 16.

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Displaced families near Atme, Syria, attend a workshop aimed at spreading awareness about the coronavirus.

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French President Emmanuel Macron is seen on a screen in Paris as he announces new coronavirus containment measures on March 16. France has been put on lockdown, and all nonessential outings are outlawed and can draw a fine of up to €135 ($148). Macron also promised to support French businesses by guaranteeing €300 billion worth of loans and suspending rent and utility bills owed by small companies.

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A police officer checks the temperatures of bus passengers at a checkpoint in Manila, Philippines, on March 16.

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Flowers are stored prior to their destruction at a flower auction in Aalsmeer, Netherlands, on March 16. Lower demand due to the coronavirus outbreak is threatening the Dutch horticultural sector, forcing the destruction of products.

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Body temperatures are scanned as people enter the Buddhist temple Wat Pho in Bangkok, Thailand, on March 13.

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Two nuns greet neighbors from their balcony in Turin, Italy, on Sunday, March 15.

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Pope Francis, inside the Church of San Marcello in Rome's city center,prays at a famous crucifix that believers claim helped to save Romans from the plague in 1522.

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Passengers wait for their flights at Marrakesh Airport in Morocco on March 15.

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US Vice President Mike Pence takes a question during a White House briefing about the coronavirus on March 15.

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A Sea World employee sprays disinfectant in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Saturday, March 14.

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People wait in line to go through customs at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on March 14. Travelers returning from Europe say they were being made to wait for hoursat US airports, often in close quarters, as personnel screened them for the coronavirus.

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Hundreds of people lined up to enter a Costco in Novato, California, on March 14. Many people have been stocking up on food, toilet paper and other items. As a response to panic buying, retailers in the United States and Canada have started limiting the number of toilet paper that customers can buy in one trip.

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A member of the White House physician's office takes a media member's temperature in the White House briefing room on March 14. It was ahead of a news conference with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

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A nurse in Cremona, Italy, takes a moment in this heartbreaking photo posted to Instagram by photographer Paolo Miranda. Italy's health care system has been severely tested by the coronavirus pandemic.

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Reporters in Arlington, Virginia, sit approximately 4 feet apart during a briefing by Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie on March 13.

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People walk past a closed Broadway theater on March 13 after New York canceled all gatherings over 500 people.

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A Costco customer stands by two shopping carts in Richmond, California, on March 13.

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A teacher works in an empty classroom at the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, Spain.

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A woman looks at an empty bread aisle in Antwerp, Belgium, on March 13.

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Employees of the Greek Parliament wear plastic gloves ahead of the swearing-in ceremony for Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou.

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A motorcyclist drives through disinfectant sprayed in Jammu, India, on March 13.

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Workers prepare to construct an additional building on a hospital on the outskirts of Moscow.

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Paul Boyer, head equipment manager of the NHL's Detroit Red Wings, wheels out equipment bags in Washington on March 12. The NHL is among the sports leagues that have suspended their seasons.

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Students leave Glacier Peak High School in Snohomish, Washington, on March 12. Beginning the following day, schools in the Snohomish school district planned to be closed through April 24.

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An Uber Eats delivery biker stands at a deserted Piazza di Spagna in Rome.

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People at a railway station in Seoul, South Korea, watch a live broadcast of US President Donald Trump on March 12. Trump announced that, in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus, he would sharply restrict travel from more than two dozen European countries.

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Workers in protective suits disinfect Istanbul's Dolmabahce Palace on March 11.

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A person wearing a face mask walks outside of a shopping mall in Beijing on March 11.

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Police officers restrain the relative of an inmate outside the Sant'Anna jail in Modena, Italy, on March 9. Riots broke out in several Italian jails after visits were suspended to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

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Medical staff in Wuhan, China, celebrate after all coronavirus patients were discharged from a temporary hospital on March 9.

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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on March 9. Stocks plummeted as coronavirus worries and an oil price race to the bottom weighed on global financial markets.

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Rescuers search for victims at the site of a collapsed hotel in Quanzhou, China, on March 8. The hotel was being used as a coronavirus quarantine center.

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The Grand Princess cruise ship, carrying at least 21 people who tested positive for coronavirus, is seen off the coast of San Francisco on March 8. The ship was being held at sea.

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Sumo wrestlers attend a tournament in Osaka, Japan, that was being held behind closed doors because of the coronavirus outbreak.

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A couple rides a bicycle at a park in Seoul, South Korea, on March 7.

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A volunteer from Blue Sky Rescue uses fumigation equipment to disinfect a residential compound in Beijing on March 5.

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Airmen from the California National Guard drop coronavirus testing kits down to the Grand Princess cruise shipoff the coast of California on March 5.

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Municipal workers are seen at the Kaaba, inside Mecca's Grand Mosque. Saudi Arabia emptied Islam's holiest site for sterilization over coronavirus fears, an unprecedented move after the kingdom suspended the year-round Umrah pilgrimage.

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Passengers react as a worker wearing a protective suit disinfects the departure area of a railway station in Hefei, China, on March 4.

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Teachers at the Nagoya International School in Japan conduct an online class for students staying at home as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus.

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Soldiers spray disinfectant throughout a shopping street in Seoul.

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A Muslim worshipper attends a mass prayer against coronavirus in Dakar, Senegal, on March 4. It was after cases were confirmed in the country.

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People wear face masks in New York's Times Square on March 3. New York reported its first case of coronavirus two days earlier.

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A security guard stands on the Shibuya Sky observation deck in Tokyo on March 3.

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US President Donald Trump, flanked by Vice President Mike Pence, left, and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, speaks during a meeting with pharmaceutical executives and the White House coronavirus task force on March 2. Throughout the meeting, Trump was hyperfocused on pressing industry leaders in the room for a timeline for a coronavirus vaccine and treatment. But experts at the table -- from the administration and the pharmaceutical industry -- repeatedly emphasized that a vaccine can't be rushed to market before it's been declared safe for the public.

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Medical staff stand outside a hospital in Daegu, South Korea, on March 1.

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Health care workers transfer a patient at the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington, on March 1. The long-term care facility is linked to confirmed coronavirus cases.

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits a London laboratory of the Public Health England National Infection Service.

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Tomoyuki Sugano, a professional baseball player on the Yomiuri Giants, throws a pitch in an empty Tokyo Dome during a preseason game on February 29. Fans have been barred from preseason games to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

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Commuters wearing masks make their way to work during morning rush hour at the Shinagawa train station in Tokyo on February 28.

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Medical staff transport a coronavirus patient within the Red Cross hospital in Wuhan on February 28.

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Inter Milan plays Ludogorets in an empty soccer stadium in Milan, Italy, on February 27. The match was ordered to be played behind closed doors as Italian authorities continue to grapple with the coronavirus outbreak.

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A bank clerk disinfects banknotes in China's Sichuan province on February 26.

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A child wearing a protective face mask rides on a scooter in an empty area in Beijing.

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A Catholic devotee wears a face mask as he is sprinkled with ash during Ash Wednesday services in Paranaque, Philippines, on February 26.

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People disinfect Qom's Masumeh shrine in Tehran, Iran, on February 25.

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A worker in Daegu stacks plastic buckets containing medical waste from coronavirus patients on February 24.

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Paramedics carry a stretcher off an ambulance in Hong Kong on February 23.

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People attend a professional soccer match in Kobe, Japan, on February 23. To help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, the soccer club Vissel Kobe told fans not to sing, chant or wave flags in the season opener against Yokohama FC.

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A team of volunteers disinfects a pedestrian bridge in Bangkok, Thailand.

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A man rides his bike in Beijing on February 23.

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Hospital personnel in Codogno, Italy, carry new beds inside the hospital on February 21. The hospital is hosting some people who have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus.

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Doctors look at a CT scan of a lung at a hospital in Xiaogan, China, on February 20.

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A sales clerk wears a mask as she waits for customers at a hat shop in Beijing on February 18.Small companies that help drive China's economy are worried about how much damage the coronavirus outbreak will cause to business.

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Buses carrying American passengers arrive at the Haneda Airport in Tokyo on February 17. The passengers were leaving the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship to be repatriated to the United States.

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A medical worker rests at the isolation ward of the Red Cross hospital in Wuhan on February 16.

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Authorities watch as the Westerdam cruise ship approaches a port in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, on February 13. Despite having no confirmed cases of coronavirus on board, the Westerdam was refused port by four other Asian countries before being allowed to dock in Cambodia.

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A worker has his temperature checked on a shuttered commercial street in Beijing on February 12.

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Beds are made in the Wuhan Sports Center, which has been converted into a temporary hospital.

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A child rides a scooter past a police officer wearing protective gear outside the Hong Mei House in Hong Kong on February 11. More than 100 people evacuated the housing block after four residents in two different apartments tested positive for the coronavirus.

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Relatives of quarantined passengers wave at the Diamond Princess cruise ship as it leaves a port in Yokohama, Japan, to dump wastewater and generate potable water. Dozens of people on the ship were infected with coronavirus.

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The Deneway branch of the County Oak Medical Centre is closed amid coronavirus fears in Brighton, England, on February 11. Several locations in and around Brighton were quarantined after a man linked to several coronavirus cases in the United Kingdom came into contact with health-care workers and members of the public.

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A police officer, left, wears protective gear as he guards a cordon at the Hong Mei House in Hong Kong on February 11.

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A worker wears a protective suit as he waits to screen people entering an office building in Beijing on February 10. China's workforce is slowly coming back to work after the coronavirus outbreak forced many parts of the country to extend the Lunar New Year holiday by more than a week.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping has his temperature checked during an appearance in Beijing on February 10.

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Photojournalists wearing face masks take photos of a bus carrying passengers after they disembarked from the World Dream cruise ship in Hong Kong on February 9. More than 5,300 people were quarantined on two cruise ships off Hong Kong and Japan.

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People participating in a Lunar New Year Parade in New York City hold signs reading, "Wuhan stay strong!" on February 9.

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A shopper walks past empty shelves at a grocery store in Hong Kong on February 9. China's Ministry of Commerce encouraged supermarkets and grocery stores to resume operations as the country's voluntary or mandatory quarantines began to take an economic toll.

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A worker wearing a protective suit uses a machine to disinfect a business establishment in Shanghai, China, on February 9.

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Workers in protective gear walk near the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Yokohama on February 7.

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People in Hong Kong attend a vigil February 7 for whistleblower doctor Li Wenliang.Li, 34, died in Wuhan after contracting the virus while treating a patient.

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A woman grieves while paying tribute to Li at Li's hospital in Wuhan on February 7.

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The Anthem of the Seas cruise ship is seen docked at the Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, New Jersey, on February 7. Passengers were to be screened for coronavirus as a precaution, an official with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told CNN.

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