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Ho Chi Minh City closes schools over latest COVID-19 threat

Ho Chi Minh City closes schools over latest COVID-19 threat

Thursday, May 06, 2021, 21:48 GMT+7
Ho Chi Minh City closes schools over latest COVID-19 threat
Students wear face masks to prevent COVID-19 transmission at a school in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Hoang Huong / Tuoi Tre

K-12 schools in Ho Chi Minh City will be closed down from Monday next week for fear of COVID-19 spread, the municipal People’s Committee said in a fiat on Thursday.

The closure is to be enforced even when only one local case has been recorded in the city since the coronavirus re-emerged in Vietnam last week.

Preschools will shut down from Monday while other levels will switch to remote learning, according to the fiat.

The 2020-21 school year is scheduled to end within this month in accordance with a plan by the People’s Committee.

More than 91,000 teachers, employees, and students left and returned to Ho Chi Minh City during a four-day holiday starting on Friday last week, the local Department of Education and Training said on Wednesday.

One employee and 14 students flew on the same flight as a COVID-19 patient in Dong Nai Province, which borders the city.

They live in Phu Nhuan District, Tan Binh District, Tan Phu District, Binh Thanh District, District 1, District 5, and Thu Duc City.

“Those people have been quarantined and had their samples taken for COVID-19 testing,” the department said.

The department has also identified 134 people who came into direct contact with these 15 and asked them to self-isolate at home.

Vietnam has confirmed 120 domestically-transmitted cases in over a dozen provinces and cities since April 27, when the virus made a comeback after the country had spent over a month detecting zero local infections, according the Ministry of Health’s data.

Only one of the patients was registered in Ho Chi Minh City.

Health workers have warned the city is at high risk as it is a busy economic hub, while border jumpers from China and Cambodia, which is grappling with severe outbreaks, have been detected there over the past few weeks.

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