25.02.2024

Moscow Cracks Down on Mask and Glove Violations

Authorities in Moscow have issued sweeping fines for violating face mask and glove requirements in recent weeks as the city looks to enforce coronavirus safety rules, the state-run TASS news agency reported Friday.

The Russian capital has required masks and gloves to be worn at all times indoors and on public transportation since May 12. About 94% of shoppers in Moscow stores wore the protective gear in early June, but this percentage dropped to 68% by mid-July, TASS cited Moscow Mayor’s Office official Alexei Nemeryuk as saying.

Officers issued more than 300 million rubles ($4 million) in fines to more than 6,000 businesses that were found to have violated the requirement, Nemeryuk said.

Two shops were shut down over “numerous violations,” he added.

Moscow metro police also staged raids over the past week to crack down on mask violations. Since May 12, more than 37,000 metro passengers have been fined.

Individuals face fines between 4,000 and 5,000 rubles for violating the rules, while businesses, enterprises and legal entities face fines between 100,000 rubles and 300,000 rubles.

Moscow continues to see the country’s highest numbers of new coronavirus infections, recording 650 to 700 new cases per day in recent weeks, a number higher than in other European capitals. At its peak in early May, Moscow registered around 6,000 new cases per day.

Mayor Sergei Sobyanin on Thursday said the city has reached its «minimum» level of new coronavirus cases. It won’t be possible for the numbers to go much lower as «millions of people move around the city,» he added.

Earlier this month, Sobyanin said it was “unlikely” the Russian capital would see a second wave of coronavirus infections.

Nine test positive at Georgia school where photo of crowded corridor went viral

Nine people have tested positive for Covid-19 at a Georgia high school just days after a photo of a packed hallway went viral.

Six students and three staff members who were at North Paulding High School in Dallas, Georgia last week have tested positive, according to a letter sent to parents on Saturday.

The letter stated: «We have anticipated that Covid-19 would impact us as it has nearly every community, and the district has worked in partnership with the Department of Public Health (DPH) to proactively implement safety precautions and response plans.”

It did not say if anyone will be quarantined or whether the school will be closed.

Hannah Watters, 15, posted an image to social media showing students packed into a corridor — some without masks.

She was later suspended and others were warned they would be punished if they did the same.

​She said: “It was worse than I thought it was going to be. I didn’t feel safe, especially coming home to family after going to school.»

Her suspension was rescinded on Friday following an outcry, and she said she planned to return to school on Monday — before news of the positive tests were announced.

The school wrote a letter to parents after the release of the photos, saying: «Under the Covid-19 protocols we have adopted, class changes that look like this may happen, especially at a high school with more than 2,000 students.»

Donald Trump and education secretary Betsy DeVos have both pushed for schools to reopen for in-person learning whenever possible.

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