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  • South Korea Closes Schools, Daycare Centers To Contain Novel Coronavirus Spread

    Hong Kong and Vietnam also suspended classes amid n-CoV threat.
    by Rachel Perez .
South Korea Closes Schools, Daycare Centers To Contain Novel Coronavirus Spread
PHOTO BY iStock
  • Nearly 340 schools in parts of South Korea remain closed, on Monday, February 3, 2020, after the students' month-long winter vacation, reports The Korea Herald. The schools hope delaying the reopening of classes can combat the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCov) that has infected more than 20,000 people globally.

    As of this writing, South Korea has 16 confirmed cases of the new strain of coronavirus. It is currently checking 68 people for 2019-nCoV and monitoring 1,318 individuals.

    The Ministry of Education says 245 kindergartens, 53 elementary schools, 21 middle schools, 16 high schools, and one special-education school postponed the reopening of classes. Many nurseries and daycare centers also halted operations.

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    These schools, which are located in Seoul, Suwon, Bucheon, and Goyang in Gyeonggi Province, and Gunsan in North Jeolla Province, are considered the most vulnerable — patients that have 2019-nCoV reside or have visited in these areas.

    The Ministry of Education is currently reviewing whether it needs to delay the reopening of universities this week. Chinese students account for 44.4% (about 71,000) of university students in South Korea.

    The city of Goyang ordered all kindergartens and nurseries to close for a week. Suwon and Bucheon also closed their nurseries, kindergartens and some middle and high schools for a week. Gusan authorities closed all daycare centers, kindergartens, elementary, middle, and high schools for two weeks.

    Nine schools in the country's capital, Seoul, are closed indefinitely.

    Nurseries and daycare centers in Taean in South Chungcheong Province and in the cities of Pyeongtaek, Anyang in Gyeonggi Province, also halted operations.

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    Schools in the Philippines are implementing strict health guidelines

    The Philippines' Department of Education (DepEd), in close coordination with the Department of Health (DOH), formed a special task force to lead the overall efforts in addressing the 2019-nCoV threat, including decisions for lockdowns in specific communities if needed. Currently, it is focused on spreading awareness and implement strict health guidelines for students and school teachers and personnel.

    Students, faculty, and employees of Adamson University, Far Eastern University, and Polytechnic University of the Philippines are instructed to undergo self-quarantine for at least 14 days if they recently traveled to China and other countries that have confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV. It's a precautionary measureSingapore implemented for its preschools.

    Some Filpino-Chinese schools suspended classes last January 27, 2020, as they gathered their personnel and students' travel histories during the Chinese New Year holidays and implement sanitizing protocols. As of February 5, 2020, classes are still suspended at Uno High School in Manila City. Hope Christian High School and St. Stephen High School will resume classes on February 10.

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    As of February 4, 2020, the Philippines has two confirmed patients with 2019-nCoV and one death. It is currently investigating 90 patients under investigation (PUIs).

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    Schools in Hong Kong, Vietnam are temporarily closed

    Schools and offices in Hubei province, where the new strain of coronavirus was first detected in December 2019, and in other regions in mainland China have been closes since the outbreak. Citizens were advised to stay home in a bid to stop the virus from infecting more people.

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    Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China, suspended classes until February 17. Three universities have resorted to online learning until March 2, 2020. Hong Kong has at least 15 cases of the 2019-nCoV and one death.

    Vietnam, which has at least eight confirmed cases of the 2019-nCoV, also ordered schools in 26 of its 64 provinces to close for seven days, starting February 3, 2020, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

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    For more updates on the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, click here.

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