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Iran Press TV

Russia recommends higher education switch to distance learning over coronavirus fears

Iran Press TV

Sunday, 15 March 2020 7:05 PM

Russia has recommended that higher educational institutions switch to distance learning over fears of the current coronavirus global pandemic.

On Sunday, Russia's ministry of science and higher education offered the recommendation in a statement, saying that the switch could be made as of Monday, Russian news agencies reported.

The move is part of Russia's package of measures aimed at stemming the spread of the COVID-19 disease, caused by the new coronavirus, which first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.

The contagious disease has so far affected 156 countries and territories across the globe. It has so far infected more than 167,600 people and killed over 6,450 others.

Earlier this week, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic.

According to official figures, 63 people have so far been tested positive for the new coronavirus in Russia, but no one has died of COVID-19.

On Saturday, Moscow said that it would make school attendance optional as of Monday.

Additionally on Saturday, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said that Russia would close its land borders with Poland and Norway "at midnight on Saturday" in a bid to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.

Russia has a short land border with Poland in the enclave of Kaliningrad, which is sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania along the Baltic Coast, and one with far north of Norway, which runs for around 200 kilometers.

On Friday, Moscow announced that it would cut the number of flights to and from the European Union to stem the spread of the virus.

Italy, the gateway of the new coronavirus to the continent and the second hardest-hit country after China, has reported more than 24,700 confirmed cases and over 1,800 deaths.

Russia has already closed its border with China, with more than 80,840 confirmed cases and over 3,190 deaths, and limited the number of arrivals from Iran, with more than 13,900 confirmed cases and 724 deaths, and South Korea, with more than 8,160 cases and 75 deaths.

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