Some children in Russian capital to study online to contain coronavirus

FILE PHOTO: First graders attend a ceremony marking the start of the new school year in Moscow, Russia September 1, 2020. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s capital announced on Wednesday it would introduce online learning for many students starting on Monday in a bid to contain the novel coronavirus.

The measure would apply to students in the 6th to 11th grades for a two-week period, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said in post on his website.

Pupils from 1st to 5th grade will return to school on that day after a two-week holiday that had been granted to prevent them from contracting the virus and taking it home, he said.

Older students would study online at home because they accounted for two-thirds of the children infected with the virus, Sobyanin said.

“The decisions that we have made today are not easy but are simply necessary taking into account both the epidemiological situation and the need for schoolchildren to receive a quality education,” he said.

As of Tuesday, Russia had recorded 1,326,178 infections, with 339,431 in Moscow.

The city of nearly 13 million people has also opened two temporary hospitals and ordered businesses to have at least 30% of staff working remotely.

Reporting by Anastasia Teterevleva; Writing by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Robert Birsel

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