Hanoi extends school closure after first Covid-19 case

By Vo Hai, Thanh Tung   March 6, 2020 | 09:17 pm PT
Hanoi extends school closure after first Covid-19 case
A high school in Hanoi is vacant amid a prolonged break to prevent spread of Covid-19, March 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh.
High school students in Hanoi will stay home until March 15, another week later than previously scheduled, as the city's first novel coronavirus case was confirmed on Friday.

High school students in the capital city were earlier scheduled to return to school on March 9 onwards while kindergartens, elementary schools and middle schools would remain closed until the end of the week.

However the city's Party leader Vuong Dinh Hue decided at an urgent meeting Saturday morning that all schools from kindergarten to high school levels in the city will remain closed for another week.

The city plans to broadcast teaching sessions on television from Monday to help ninth grade and 12th grade students, who have to take graduation exams this year, keep up with their programs.

Hanoi recorded Friday night its first Covid-19 patient, a 26-year old woman returning from Europe. It was the first case in Vietnam after 22 straight days of recording no new infection.

12th graders back

In HCMC, the city's 73,000 twelfth grade students would also return to school next Monday, and would be provided with two face masks each on their first day back.

Kindergarteners, students from first to eleventh grade and students at language, IT, tutoring and soft skill centers would continue to have their break extended until the end of next week, while students at many universities and vocational schools, who are more independent in their training programs, would get at least the entire month March off.

HCMC Vice Chairman Le Thanh Liem said that students returning to school early is a common wish of the public, but the city cannot take rash decisions as the top priority is the health and safety of the people.

The city had no Covid-19 infection as of Friday, while four cases of suspected infection were still awaiting test results, according to the city's health department. A total of 567 people were still being quarantined at centralized quarantine facilities and 526 people others quarantined at home.

The Covid-19 outbreak broke out in China’s Wuhan City, Hubei Province late December last year. By Friday, the disease had infected over 100,000 people worldwide and killed 3,412, mostly Chinese citizens.

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