New coronavirus: After Saigon, Hanoi students get extra week off

By Duong Tam, Thanh Hang    February 7, 2020 | 05:33 am PT
New coronavirus: After Saigon, Hanoi students get extra week off
Students wear masks during their classes in Hanoi on January 31, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh.
More than 2 million Hanoi students will get an extra week off until February 16 as concerns mount over the new coronavirus epidemic.

The decision to grant the second week-long extension of the Lunar New Year (Tet) break (the first extension was Feb 3-9) was taken a day after Ho Chi Minh City made a similar move.

Authorities said the second extension was a prudent measure to prevent the deadly epidemic from spreading to schools and for ensuring the safety and health of students.

Also Friday, Hanoi Chairman Nguyen Duc Chung asked all schools to carry out their second sterilization of their premises this weekend and the third on February 15-16.

He requested all schools to maintain adequate supply of safe water and antiseptic solutions in the classroom when students resume school.

Besides the country's two largest cities, 53 provinces and cities across the country have announced plans to extend the school break for students until next Sunday, including Vinh Phuc, which has confirmed seven infections.

Khanh Hoa, Ha Tinh, Dien Bien and Nghe An provinces are among localities that have allowed their students to stay at home until further notice.

Dozens of universities and colleges have also postponed their classes until next Sunday. This is also the first time in Vietnam that provinces and cities have simultaneously let students stay away from classes.

Mai Tien Dung, Chairman of the Government Office, had said at a press conference Wednesday that Vietnamese students can have one to two more weeks of holiday.

If the school breaks need to be extended further, the academic year could go past May 31, he said, adding that the schedule of the national high school exam could also be adjusted as the new situation demanded.

Vietnam declared the 2019-nCoV outbreak an epidemic last Saturday.

The country has recorded 12 infections so far and three of them have been discharged.

The global death toll from the epidemic has reached 638, including 636 in China, one in the Philippines and one in Hong Kong.

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