Hanoi shutters schools amid sudden rise in Covid-19 cases

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COVID-19

Authorities have shuttered schools in Hanoi as of Tuesday as Vietnam battles its first wave of Covid-19 cases via community transmission in over a month.

Around two million students in the Vietnamese capital will switch from classroom studying to virtual learning after 34 cases of community transmission of the coronavirus were confirmed in the nation since Thursday, Hanoi authorities said in a statement.

On Friday, Hanoi’s bars, karaoke parlours, clubs and internet gaming rooms were also ordered to close.

Vietnam has confirmed community transmissions of Covid-19 in the major cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, along with the northern provinces of Ha Nam, Vinh Phuc, Yen Bai and Hung Yen.

These latter four provinces, along with the coastal city of Da Nang and Quang Nam province, home to the tourist hotspot of Hoi An, have also closed schools.

The cases are linked to a 27-year-old man who returned to Vietnam from Japan on April 7 and a Chinese expert entering the nation for work, both of whom tested positive after finishing a mandatory two-week quarantine.

Vietnam’s health officials are now hurrying to carry out contact tracing and testing nationwide.

The new cases emerged shortly before a three-day public holiday in Vietnam when many families travel across the country, raising the risk of a wider outbreak.

Residents of the Vietnamese capital and HCMC have been asked to ensure they wear masks in public spaces or else face fines for not complying.

Vietnam has officially recorded 2,985 coronavirus cases and 35 deaths

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