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No school until April in Ho Chi Minh City

Friday, March 13, 2020, 19:00 GMT+7
No school until April in Ho Chi Minh City
Students wear cloth masks at an elementary school in Vietnam. Photo: Doan Hoa / Tuoi Tre

Schools in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City will not reopen for at least the next two weeks, with the latter having further delayed the back-to-school date until April, due to the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Hanoi chairman Nguyen Duc Chung on Friday morning decided to let all kindergarten, elementary, middle school and vocational school students in the capital city stay home through March 29.

Students attending universities and colleges will also take the same break.

Meanwhile, high school students in the capital are to only stay home through March 22, at least for now.

According to Chung, the new complications of COVID-19 in Hanoi, where five infections have been reported in a week, create a high risk of community spread.

Meanwhile, the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City has also extended the closure of schools, saying students’ safety is its top priority.

According to a new direction issued by the committee on Friday morning, all K-12 students, as well as university and college students, in the southern metropolis will not return to school till at least the end of April 5.

After this date, the People’s Committee will review the COVID-19 situation to decide on the back-to-school date.

The Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) has postponed the end of the 2019-20 school year until July 15, while a national exam for high school students will take place from August 8 to 11, a month later than initially planned.

This is the second delay after the MoET earlier this month said the 2019-20 school year would be finished by June 30 while high school students would take the national exam on July 23-26.

An alley is in lockdown in Cau Giay District, Hanoi after the city’s fifth COVID-19 infection was confirmed there in March 2020. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

An alley is in lockdown in Cau Giay District, Hanoi after the city’s fifth COVID-19 infection was confirmed there in March 2020. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Students in Vietnam had been scheduled to return to school on February 3 following the Lunar New Year holiday, but the COVID-19 pandemic has caused schools nationwide to repeatedly delay their reopening.

The extended school closure has lasted for more than a month.

COVID-19, a respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus that first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019, has infected over 133,900 people and killed more than 4,900 globally, according to Ministry of Health statistics.

Vietnam has so far confirmed 45 infections, including 31 Vietnamese, two Chinese nationals, one Vietnamese American, nine British citizens, one Mexican, and one Irish national.

Sixteen of the patients had recovered and been discharged from the hospital by February 26. The 29 active cases in the country are still being treated. 

Hanoi has reported five cases, while there have been five infections in Ho Chi Minh City.

Patient No. 17, a Hanoi resident, was confirmed on Friday last week, 21 days since Vietnam had reported its last infection. 

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