March 14, 2020 / 7:54 AM / 21 days ago

Moscow makes school attendance optional amid coronavirus outbreak

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Moscow will make school attendance optional starting on Monday in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus, its mayor said on Saturday.

Russia has recorded 45 cases of the virus as of Friday.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said 24 residents of the city were infected and that new measures were needed to stop the virus from spreading further.

“Parents will decide whether their child will keep going to school or remain home,” Sobyanin wrote on his website.

“Every family can have different circumstances and kids’ immunity is different.” He said the measure would remain in place until further notice.

The Russian authorities have suspended many flights to and from coronavirus-hit countries and are screening passengers returning home and ordering them to remain in self-isolation for two weeks even if they do not experience any symptoms.

Sobyanin said on Saturday that people living with those returning from countries heavily affected by the virus would also need to remain in isolation.

Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Michael Perry

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