Saturday , September 30 2023

COVID-19 cases increase at HCM City schools as million make return to classroom


A child being tested for Covid-19 at Hiệp Tân Primary school in HCM City’s Tân Phú District. — Photo

HCM CITY — Educational institutions in HCM City have been told to enhance safety measures in response to an increasing number of COVID-19 cases among students after one million returned to kindergartens and schools this week.

Trịnh Duy Trọng, head of the city Department of Education and Training’s ideological politics office, said 27 cases had been detected on Feb 14, 50 on Feb 15 and 86 on Feb 16, and “The number is expected to rise in the coming days.” 

Teachers are recommended to work with parents and provide them with guidance to ensure children’s safety and advise them to promptly report any sickness their children contract, he said.

Most parents have complained about the requirement to quarantine students who come into close contact with COVID patients since it affects their education.

With children of primary school and kindergarten ages yet to be immunised, the Ministry of Health requires them to home quarantine for 14 days.

Nguyễn Thị Huỳnh Mai, chief of the health department office, said it was vital to monitor students, especially in pre-school and primary school.

The health authorities would continue to work with schools for screening children to detect infections in time, she said.

The city Department of Health has said it will provide COVID rapid test kits to public educational institutions.

The education department will allocate the kits and get more from the health department if demand increases.

More than one million children in kindergarten and first to sixth grades returned to school on Feb 14 after nine months of virtual learning. Seventh and 12th graders resumed two months ago.

Educational institutions have said they lacked testing kits.

The city People’s Committee has instructed the two departments to develop a response scenario when there is a suspected COVID case at an educational institution. 

Several institutions will be selected for pandemic safety drills, which will be recorded and published in the media and the education department website for the benefit of educational institutions.

The city has had more than 518,000 infections, including 166 cases of the highly transmissible Omicron variant, 11 of them domestic cases.

The city is now treating 844 patients, including 45 children, 62 critically ill patients on ventilators and 10 needing ECMO intervention.

More than 20,400 people have died in the fourth wave of outbreak that began last April. — VnExpress News

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