Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin extended an upcoming school holiday by a week on Tuesday to limit the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
The government did not plan to impose severe lockdown restrictions despite a growing number of new cases of COVID-19, but Sobyanin advised anyone with chronic health problems or those older than 65 to stay home.
On Tuesday, Sobyanin said students would be off from school from Oct. 5-18, and urged parents to keep their children at home.
“Today a significant proportion of the sick – who are often asymptomatic – are children,” Sobyanin said on his website.
“When they come home, they easily transmit the virus to adults and elderly family members who get much sicker.”
The upsurge in Moscow has escalated since Russia reopened schools on Sept. 1. The number of new daily infections has more than doubled compared to late August.
With 1,167,805 cases, Russia has the world’s fourth-highest number of infections. On Tuesday, the authorities said that 160 had died from the virus in the last 24 hours, pushing the death toll to 20,545.