Moscow mayor says COVID-19 situation worsening, extends home learning

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Moscow’s mayor said on Thursday that the city’s coronavirus situation was getting worse, and extended a remote learning period for secondary schools as infections climbed nationwide at a near-record daily rate.

a group of people sitting at a table: First graders are seen in the classroom on the first day of the new school year in Moscow

First graders are seen in the classroom on the first day of the new school year in Moscow

The Kremlin said the situation was alarming, but that it was nonetheless under control.

“Unfortunately we see setbacks in some regions. The president knows about this and emergency measures are being taken,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

“In general the situation is alarming…” he told reporters on a conference call.

Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said pupils at secondary schools from Class 6 (age 12) upwards would continue online classes for two more weeks until Nov. 22. They began remote learning three weeks ago.

“The coronavirus situation in Moscow began to get worse again at the start of this week, as we can see from the number of patients and hospitalisations,” Sobyanin said on his website.

Russia reported 19,404 new infections in the previous 24 hours, including 5,255 in Moscow, and 292 virus-related deaths nationwide, pushing the official death toll to 29,509.

The Kremlin has repeatedly said there are no plans for a broad lockdown for now and that targeted measures are enough because Russia is better prepared than it was at the beginning of the pandemic.

(Reporting by Gleb Stolyarov, Maria Kiselyova and Dmitry Antonov; Writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Alex Richardson)

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