2 million Hanoi students take Tet holiday early

By Thanh Hang, Vo Hai   January 31, 2021 | 12:23 am PT
The Lunar New Year holiday will begin a week earlier for over 2 million Hanoi students, from kindergartens to high schools, as a Covid-19 precaution.

The Hanoi People's Committee Sunday agreed with the municipal education department's proposal that the Tet school holiday will run from February 1 to 16, instead of starting on February 8, as originally planned.

Local residents and parents had expressed their worries following the detection of nine Covid-19 community transmission cases in the capital city since last Thursday.

About 500 teachers and students of Nguyen Trai High School in Hanois Ba Dinh District test for the novel coronavirus after having a trip to Hai Duongs Chi Linh Town, January 30, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Vo Hai.

Around 500 teachers and students of Nguyen Trai High School in Hanoi's Ba Dinh District test for the novel coronavirus after having a trip to Hai Duong's Chi Linh Town, Vietnam's biggest Covid-19 hotspot, January 30, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Vo Hai.

Hanoi has more than 25,000 teachers and students who have stayed at home as they are related to Covid-19 cases or came back from Quang Ninh or Hai Duong provinces, the country's two biggest Covid-19 hotspots. At least 11 schools have required their students and teachers to stay at home and adopt remote teaching and learning.

Hanoi authorities announced two new Covid-19 cases Saturday morning, both colleagues of "Patient 1694" in Dong Anh District, which are yet to be officially confirmed by the Health Ministry. These two cases take the city’s total to 11.

In all, nine localities have told their children not to attend school since community transmissions resurfaced in Vietnam last Thursday.

The northern province of Hoa Binh, where two Covid-19 patients were confirmed Sunday morning, has decided to keep students at home starting February 1.

Students in places like Hai Phong, Quang Ninh, Hai Duong and Thai Binh had already been told to stay at home soon after the new Covid-19 outbreak was confirmed. Local authorities in the northern provinces of Bac Ninh and Bac Giang as well as the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai have asked children not to attend schools in areas where many people had come into close contact with Covid-19 patients.

The Ministry of Education and Training on Saturday asked all schools to prepare for remote learning in order to finish the school year as scheduled and keep students safe from the spreading novel coronavirus.

After nearly two months without any community transmission, Vietnam was shaken by a new wave of Covid-19 infections in Hai Duong and Quang Ninh, which has now spread to at least eight localities.

The sources of transmissions of the outbreak have not been identified, with the first patients confirmed being a man working at Van Don Airport in Quang Ninh and a woman working at Vietnam Poyun Electronics Co. Ltd in Chi Linh Town of Hai Duong.

Sunday morning also saw Vietnam's first imported case of the South African novel coronavirus variant in a foreign expert who had been quarantined upon arrival in Hanoi in December 2020.

The country has registered 1,781 Covid-19 cases and 35 deaths so far.

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