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Hanoi extends school closure for another week in wake of novel coronavirus

Saturday, February 08, 2020, 16:53 GMT+7
Hanoi extends school closure for another week in wake of novel coronavirus
Students resume studies at Marie Curie School in Hanoi after the Lunar New Year holiday on January 30, 2020. Photo: Vinh Ha / Tuoi Tre

The People’s Committee of Hanoi has decided to give students in the Vietnamese capital city another week off by extending their school break through February 16 in a bid to prevent the possible spread of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

The city’s K-12 students will return school on February 17.

All kindergarteners and school students in Hanoi got back to school after the long Lunar New Year holiday on January 30.

But they were asked to stay home for one week from February 3 and resume school on February 10.

All but two out of 63 provinces and cities in Vietnam have allowed K-12 students to take a similar week off from February 3 to 10.

The north-central province of Nghe An and the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre were the only two localities in Vietnam where students still went to school from February 3.

However, the People's Committee of Nghe An on Thursday sent an official dispatch to departments, agencies, and local authorities asking them to allow students at all levels to be off from schools starting Friday until an undecided date.

After Hanoi, over 50 other provinces and cities also extended school closure through February 16, as of Friday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Ben Tre Province has not allowed K-12 students to stay home despite recording high numbers of students’ leaves.

More than 100 universities and colleges nationwide have granted their students at least a week off after the Lunar New Year holiday.

The novel coronavirus, which first surfaced in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019, has killed 724 people and infected nearly 34,900 globally as of Saturday, according to the South China Morning Post.

It has since spread across mainland China and to 27 other countries and regions, according to a Reuters report.

Vietnam has so far confirmed 13 cases of the virus, including ten Vietnamese, one Vietnamese American, and two Chinese.

Among them, one Chinese and two Vietnamese had fully recovered and been discharged from the hospital as of Thursday. They were all treated for free.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the new coronavirus a public health emergency of international concern.

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