Britain's navy said on Thursday it had shadowed seven Russian warships after detecting high levels of activity by Russian vessels off its coastline.
"The Navy has completed a concentrated operation to shadow the Russian warships after unusually high levels of activity in the English Channel and North Sea," the Royal Navy said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the army to carry out drills designed to increase its readiness to fight the novel coronavirus if necessary, the Defence Ministry said on Wednesday.
- Putin dons hazmat suit as Moscow says coronavirus outbreak is worse than it looks
- Spain surpasses China in the overall number of coronavirus deaths with 3,434
- U.S. coronavirus deaths top 1,000 with more than 200 recorded in a day
The number of recorded coronavirus cases in Russia reached 658 on Wednesday, a day after the mayor of Moscow told Putin that the real scale of the problem in the capital far exceeded the official figures.
The Defence Ministry said in a statement that the drills, to be carried out from March 25-28, would include specialist medical units and nuclear, biological and chemical protection troops.