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Romanian Schoolchildren Went back to School Today

Αssociated Press

A passenger of a bus coming from Romania, left, undergoes a voluntary Covid-19 blood test, at the Tiburtina bus station, in Rome, Wednesday, July 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)

BUCHAREST, Romania -- Some 2.8 million Romanian schoolchildren have begun their academic year, with classes being held in classrooms, online or a combination of the two, depending on the intensity of the pandemic in a given region.

President Klaus Iohannis told children in a video message Monday that they have the opportunity to be superheroes by wearing masks, washing their hands and listening to their teachers to protect their parents and grandparents, those most at risk from the virus.

Prime Minister Ludovic Orban said he was confident that children would be safer in schools than on playgrounds or sports facilities.

Since Sept. 1, Romania has averaged about 1,225 new infections a day, slightly higher than during the last two weeks of August.

In all, Romania has confirmed 103,495 cases of COVID-19, with 4,163 deaths, since the pandemic began.