Hanoi extends prolonged school break by another week

By Tat Dinh   February 28, 2020 | 07:49 am PT
Hanoi extends prolonged school break by another week
Yen Hoa Secondary School in Hanoi's Cau Giay District on February 28, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Tat Dinh.
Around two million students in Hanoi will stay away from school until March 8 as per the latest decision from city authorities on coronavirus concerns.

The further extension of the Lunar New Year (Tet) break is being taken as the Covid-19 epidemic has spread to 57 countries and territories and claimed 2,867 lives.

"With the current situation of the epidemic, the city is at very high risk of infection. Therefore, we decided to keep students at all levels absent from school," Hanoi Chairman Nguyen Duc Chung said Friday.

Over the past two days, the city has received more than 2,700 people returning from South Korea, where the number of coronavirus infection cases has surged to 2,337. 

Currently, Hanoi has over 22,000 South Korean, 9,000 Japanese and over 2,000 Chinese visitors, official data shows. 

For international schools, based on a proposal from the embassies of foreign countries, classes can resume on March 2 if the schools can ensure safety for students and parents are assured.

City authorities have consulted epidemiologists about infection among students, noting that the world has no outbreak in any school. All schools in Hanoi have been cleaned up, disinfected five times and prepared thermometers, hand sanitizers for use when students return to school, Chung said. 

In addition to Hanoi, 59 other cities and provinces across the country have announced plans to close their preschools, elementary and secondary schools for one or two more weeks. Meanwhile, high school students in the localities will resume classes on March 2.

Ho Chi Minh City has yet to announce a final decision on its schools' reopening.

Earlier, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and some other cities and provinces had allowed their students to stay away from classes in February.

As of Friday morning, Vietnam has 79 suspected coronavirus infections. The country's last Covid-19 patient out of 16 confirmed infections was discharged Wednesday. Vietnam has recorded no new cases since February 13.

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