Russia’s coronavirus case tally passed the 1 million mark on Tuesday as schools and educational institutions reopened across the world’s largest country with new mandatory safety precautions in place.
Russia has the fourth highest case tally in the world after the United States, Brazil and India, according to Johns Hopkins University, which has been tracking the virus since it was discovered.
But officials say more than 800,000 people have recovered from the disease, and that with just over 17,000 deaths, the death toll is lower than in many other European countries.
The coronavirus crisis centre said on Tuesday that the overall case tally stood at 1,000,048 after 4,729 new infections were reported.
It said 123 new deaths had been confirmed in the last 24 hours, taking the official death toll to 17,299.
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President Vladimir Putin, in a nationwide TV address, told school children and students to observe virus safety rules.
It is mandatory for teachers to wear masks in schools in Moscow, which has been harder hit by the virus than other parts of Russia. Teachers are allowed to take off their masks in classrooms when teaching however, provided they keep a safe distance from children.
Moscow school children are not required to wear masks in schools. But traditional ceremonies at the start of the school year were cancelled on Tuesday and the use of different classrooms will be limited to reduce infection risks.
“I’m not afraid of COVID of course, but I follow restrictions,” Daniil Ivanenko, a 9th-grade student, told Reuters TV at his school in western Moscow on Tuesday.
Russia said that 167,044 people are currently infected with the virus.