170,000 HCMC students, teachers stay home over latest Covid-19 outbreak

By Staff reporters   December 3, 2020 | 08:49 pm GMT+7
170,000 HCMC students, teachers stay home over latest Covid-19 outbreak
The Vo Van Tan primary school in HCMC's District 6 has been down after its teachers had close contact with a Covid-19 patient, December 3, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Manh Tung.
Over 170,000 students and teachers from kindergartens to universities in HCMC have been asked to stay home as part of Covid-19 prevention measures.

Le Hong Son, director of the HCMC Department of Education and Training, said at a Thursday meeting with the HCMC Steering Committee on Covid-19 Prevention and Control that eight kindergartens, primary and high schools have been closed, while 195 others have let certain classes stay at home.

About 663 teachers from these schools have to stay home as well, Son said.

In District 6, over 3,000 students of four primary schools have had to stay home since Wednesday after five teachers came into contact with a 32-year-old English language teacher infected with the novel coronavirus.

The teacher’s case broke Vietnam’s 89-day streak of no community transmissions. The four teachers have so far tested negative once for the novel coronavirus.

At the Tran Quang Khai high school in District 11, over 2,000 students have stayed home since Wednesday after the discovery that one student had come into close contact with the English teacher.

150 other students of the Hong Bang middle school are also staying at home under similar circumstances.

At the university and college level, around 160,000 students and 5,700 teachers have also had to stay home to study online since Thursday afternoon. Twelve universities in HCMC have had to close down as several of their students and teachers were found to have come into close contact with the city’s latest Covid-19 cases.

Education and Training Minister Phung Xuan Nha has requested schools and education departments to strictly implement Covid-19 prevention measures like wearing masks, social distancing and keeping authorities informed of health statuses.

Nguyen Thanh Phong, chairman of the HCMC People’s Committee, has directed the municipal education department to cooperate with the health ministry, the city’s disease control center and district administrations to finalize how long students of schools connected with the Covid-19 cases have to stay at home.

The southern metropolis has around 2.47 million students enrolled in around 2,400 schools from kindergartens to universities.

Since the Covid-19 case of an HCMC English teacher was confirmed on Monday, at least two more community transmission cases have been confirmed: the teacher’s one-year-old nephew and a 28-year-old student.

The original source of community transmission was determined to be a 28-year-old Vietnam Airlines flight attendant who breached Covid-19 quarantine protocols and infected the English teacher.

New imported cases

Also Thursday, Vietnam recorded three imported Covid-19 cases, patients 1359-1361, taking the nation’s active case count to 114.

The latest cases are a 27-year-old man returning from Germany on November 19, a 40-year-old Nepali expert flying from the U.S. on December 1, and a 48-year-old man returning from the U.S. on December 1.

The recovery of eight Covid-19 patients was also announced Thursday.

Vietnam’s current Covid-19 tally stands at 1,361 cases, 1,209 recoveries and 35 deaths. Many of the deaths have been of elderly patients with underlying conditions like diabetes and kidney failure. Three people who died of other causes after they were declared free of the novel coronavirus have not been included in the list of Covid-19 recoveries or deaths.

 
 
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