Ho Chi Minh City education department proposes reopening K-12 schools on March 1

education, virus, Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City, coronavirus, school reopening, COVID-19, pandemic

The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Education and Training on Tuesday suggested that the People’s Committee allow K-12 schools to reopen next month amid the context that the city has spent nearly two weeks recording no new local coronavirus infections.

Students should be permitted to return to school on March 1, the department said in a proposal to the committee.

“Given the current COVID-19 prevention effort in the city, the department believes that it is suitable for K-12 students to return to school on March 1, 2021,” the proposal reads.

Ho Chi Minh City has detected zero community-based COVID-19 cases since February 11, with its local infection count in this current wave standing at 36, including one student, according to the municipal Center for Disease Control.

The city has 74 teachers and students identified as direct contacts, 361 teachers and students classified as contacts of the direct contacts, and 2,680 teachers and students coming back from coronavirus-hit provinces and cities, according to figures cited in the said proposal.

City authorities demanded on February 14 that K-12 schools be shut down and students study online until the end of February to prevent COVID-19 contagion.

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 would teach online during the time, the authorities said in a fiat then.

City K-12 students started taking the Lunar New Year holiday on February 6 and were originally scheduled to come back to school 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 domestic coronavirus infections.

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 809 community-based cases have been confirmed in 13 provinces and cities since then, making it the most serious wave to have struck Vietnam after the first-ever COVID-19 patient was announced in the country on January 23, 2020.

In this latest round, 625 cases were logged in Hai Duong Province, 61 in Quang Ninh Province, 27 in Gia Lai Province, 35 in Hanoi, five in Bac Ninh Province, two in Bac Giang Province, 36 in Ho Chi Minh City, two in Hoa Binh Province, one in Ha Giang Province, three in Dien Bien Province, six in Binh Duong Province, four in Hai Phong, and two in Hung Yen Province.

Vietnam has recorded 2,401 coronavirus cases, including 1,502 local infections, as of Tuesday night, with 1,717 recoveries and 35 virus-related fatalities, according to the Ministry of Health’s data.

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