HCMC schools closed for 2,000 students after teacher contracts Covid-19

By Manh Tung   December 1, 2020 | 01:49 am PT
HCMC schools closed for 2,000 students after teacher contracts Covid-19
Students at a primary school in HCMC have their hands disinfected as they go back to school after a three-month break due to Covid-19, May 8, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Manh Tung.
2,000 students of two HCMC schools have to stay home after their teachers came into contact with an English-teaching colleague diagnosed with Covid-19.

Following contact tracing on an English teacher confirmed Monday as "patient 1347," four teachers working at the Vo Van Tan and Nguyen Hue primary schools in District 6 have been confirmed F1 (first generation infection) suspects.

Luu Hong Uyen, head of the district’s Department of Education and Training, said: "The two schools now have to wait for the test results of the four teachers to decide when their students can return to their classes."

Before he was confirmed positive for the novel coronavirus, "patient 1347," a 32-year-old Vietnamese man who lives in District 6, had visited a teacher of the Vo Van Tan School at a house she rents. At the time of the visit, there were three housemates who teach at either Vo Van Tan or Nguyen Hue schools.

Forty eight students and four teachers of one class at Nguyen Thi Minh Khai High School in District 3 have also been asked to stay home after one of the students attended an English class of "patient 1347."

"Patient 1347" had contracted the virus from his friend, a flight attendant of Vietnam Airlines who was confirmed last Saturday as "patient 1342."

The flight attendant had returned to Vietnam on November 14 and was quarantined for four days at a facility managed by Vietnam Airlines in HCMC. After two tests showed he was negative for the coronavirus, he was asked to remain quarantined at his home in Bach Dang Street, Ward 2, Tan Binh District. At home, he came into contact with his mother and two friends, including the English teacher who came to stay with him.

Tran Dac Phu, senior adviser at the Public Health Emergency Operations Center under the Ministry of Health, said the flight attendant violated home quarantine regulations by having close contact with other people.

"The attendant's awareness over home quarantine is not good," Phu said.

The ministry's home quarantine regulations require the quarantined person to stay in an isolated room or keep a distance of at least two meters from other people in the house. The person and other people in the house have to wear masks and avoid sharing meals with each other.

"Patient 1347" ended a streak of 89 consecutive days with no community transmissions in Vietnam.

Health authorities in HCMC have tracked down as many as 146 people who are either F1 or F2 of "patient 1347" for quarantining and testing.

The operations of all the places that the English teacher had been to recently, including two campuses of Key English, a coffee shop, a gym and a karaoke parlor, have been suspended and their premises disinfected.

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