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Russia has ordered the mandatory disinfection of ships from Iran, Italy and South Korea, arriving at the Black Sea ports of Novorossiysk and the Yuzhnaya Ozereyevka, because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Russia's consumer safety watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor, has ordered port agents 'to arrange the disinfection of ships arriving from these countries before the border is opened' in the city of Novorossiysk.
One of the biggest ports on the Black Sea, Novorossiysk handles grain, coal, mineral fertilisers, timber, oil and oil products, containers, food and chemical cargoes. Since 2018, the port has been controlled by Russian pipeline monopoly Transneft.
The Yuzhnaya Ozereyevka fuel oil terminal is the end point of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium's trunk oil pipeline that connects the Tengiz field in Kazakhstan, and several other fields to the Novorossiysk sea terminal.
According to a Novorossiysk port source, 'not many ships' were arriving from the countries identified but 'delays are obviously possible' in processing those that do.
The source said that it was not immediately clear how the vessels would be disinfected.
Transneft said it had suspended business trips for its staff due to the coronavirus outbreak.