Ho Chi Minh City will reopen all schools in the coming time following a pilot offline schooling plan executed in its coastal Can Gio District, chairman of the municipal administration Phan Van Mai has said.
Schools are now open for in-person classes for grades 1, 2, 6, 9 and 12 in Can Gio, a COVID-19 low risk area with almost all children aged 12 to 17 having received their first vaccine doses, will form a foundation for the resumption of all schools, chairman Mai said at a meeting with voters on Tuesday morning.
As the southern city has basically completed first-dose vaccination for children in that age range and is preparing to give them their second shots, it is at an advantage to bring all students back to schools, Mai said.
Reopening schools is a significant issue for a city of 1.7 million students like Ho Chi Minh City as the epidemic situation has improved, with many locales becoming ‘green zones,’ or areas at low risk of COVID-19 transmission, the chairman told the meeting.
After Can Gio, green zones in Cu Chi and Hoc Mon Districts should follow suit, he recommended.
The chairman emphasized that virtual classes have caused many difficulties for students since many of them have no computers or laptops for remote learning.
Students cannot fully apprehend knowledge in online classes compared to learning directly at schools.
The city has put in place the rules for school safety and procedures for handling COVID-19 cases in the classroom.
The municipal administration will work with local educational and health authorities this week to finalize the plan for reopening all schools, Mai said.
By Monday, the city of nine million people had administered 7.86 million first COVID-19 vaccine doses and 5.95 million second jabs to adults, according to the national COVID-19 vaccination portal.
Since the pandemic hit Vietnam in early 2020, Ho Chi Minh City has documented over 445,000 COVID-19 cases and more than 17,000 deaths, the Ministry of Health reported.
Nationwide, a total of 1,045,397 infections, including 870,997 recoveries and 23,270 fatalities, have been recorded.
Recently, daily infections of both Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City have gradually increased again after a month of sharp decline, but their mortalities keep dropping remarkably, to 101 on Monday from 250 two months earlier for the country, and to 45 from 189 for the city.