Ho Chi Minh City authorities demanded on Sunday that K-12 schools be shuttered and students study online until the end of February to prevent COVID-19 transmission.
All schools from kindergartens, elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, vocational training centers, to continuing education facilities will continue to be closed until the end of February 28, the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City said in a fiat on Sunday.
Ho Chi Minh City has over 1.7 million students studying at K-12 levels and vocational and continuing education facilities, along with 100,000 teachers and other staff.
In order for students not to lag behind their curriculum, schools will teach online during the time.
City K-12 students started taking the Lunar New Year holiday on February 6 and were slated to resume studies on February 17.
They had switched to virtual learning on February 2 following an order by the People’s Committee one day earlier because of a new wave of local coronavirus infections.
During the remote learning, schools have to report the number of staff, teachers, students, and parents traveling to other provinces and cities outside of Ho Chi Minh City from February 2 to 16, those in direct and indirect contact with COVID-19 patients, and those living in areas isolated due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reports will be conducted from February 15 before 10:00 am daily.
The shutdown came in the wake of new coronavirus outbreaks in Vietnam on January 28, after the country had gone almost two months without any domestic transmission.
A total of 604 local infections have been recorded 13 provinces and cities since, including 430 in Hai Duong Province, 59 in Quang Ninh Province, 30 in Hanoi, and 36 in Ho Chi Minh City.
The majority of the domestically-transmitted cases were traced back to Hai Duong and Quang Ninh.
Health officials have conducted aggressive contact tracing as well as targeted testing and lockdowns since the new wave blindsided the country.
The national patient tally has reached 2,195 cases, including 1,297 domestic infections, as of Sunday morning, with 1,531 recoveries and 35 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health.