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Novel coronavirus scare drives Hanoi to order students catching fever to skip school

Friday, January 31, 2020, 11:20 GMT+7
Novel coronavirus scare drives Hanoi to order students catching fever to skip school
Students walk at a school in Hanoi. Photo: Vinh Ha / Tuoi Tre

The Department of Education and Training in Hanoi has demanded that school students skip classes for health checks, in a bid to contain the spread of a novel coronavirus that has hit China, Vietnam, and many other countries around the world.

Schools in the Vietnamese capital are required to step up measures to prevent viral transmissions that cause upper acute respiratory infection, the department said in a dispatch on Thurday.

The department asked that schools monitor student numbers, students and teachers’ health conditions, and any suspected infection.

“Those catching a fever have to skip classes and work in order to have their health checked,” the dispatch reads.

“They are required to notify their schools of their medical check results.

“In case of any confirmed infection, schools are banned from covering it up and are required to report it to higher authorities while cooperating with local healthcare agencies to deal with the outbreak.”

Symptoms of a new coronavirus infection can include fever, cough, and shortness of breath, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Students and teachers are advised against going to fresh meat markets and crowded places, the department said, adding that avoidance of contact with live animals and their waste is strongly recommended.

Avoid contact with patients of acute respiratory infection, keep the body warm, maintain personal hygiene, wash hands with soap regularly, rinse the mouth with antiseptic mouthwash, and cover the nose and mouth when coughing, the department advised.

Schools must ensure food and water safety for their students, teachers, and employees while frequently disinfecting classrooms, it noted.

School students in Hanoi resumed their studies on Thursday after a long Tet holiday.

Vietnam has confirmed four active cases of the novel coronavirus, including one Chinese and three Vietnamese.

China has reported nearly 10,000 cases and 213 deaths, while the virus has spread to 18 countries since the first outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019, according to Reuters.

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