Update: 15:43 | 03/03/2020
Millions of students in 59 provinces and cities went back to the school on March 2 after nearly six weeks of absence due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
One of those heading back to class was Nguyen Thanh Long, a second-year student at Hanoi University of Science and Technology.
Arriving at class was that little bit different than before. Long needed to have his temperature checked and had to wash his hands before class started.
Students at the University of Science in Hanoi.
So desperate to get back to his studies, Long arrived early.
While in theory, an extended break may well be good news, Long found staying at home boring and he was eager to get back to learning.
Around 34,000 students went back to Hanoi University of Science & Technology on March 2.
From 6am, the school’s staff were on hand to give out masks and hand sanitiser.
Dinh Van Phong, vice principal of the school said it had carefully prepared for the return of students.
The school would continue providing enough masks and hand sanitiser for the students and teachers in the coming days, he added.
Tran Van Top, also vice principal, said pupils have been given up-to-date information from the Ministry of Health to fight the spread of the disease.
“Besides the school’s preparation, students are told to actively protect themselves from the spread of COVID-19,” he added.
At the University of Science under the Vietnam National University, Hanoi, thousands of students also returned to school.
Voluntary students were waiting at classroom doors to instruct others on how to wash hands and wear masks correctly and give out information on the best ways to prevent the spread of the disease.
Vietnam National University's Vice President Nguyen Hoang Hai said the school’s steering committee had built scenarios to ensure for the students’ health.
The school’s hospital would take care and quarantine any student that showed symptoms SARS-CoV-2, he said.
In Hai Phong city, students at Ngo Quyen High School held flag-raising ceremonies inside classrooms rather than outside in the schoolyard to avoid a large gathering.
Cao To Nga, head of the school said only 15 students out of a total of 1,635 were absent from the class on March 2.
“Almost students feel ready to come back to the school,” she said.
Nga said the school had taken a small survey to check the knowledge of the students about the COVID-19 and ways to prevent it so the school could provide more information for them to actively protect themselves from the disease.
In Vinh Phuc province, which recorded 11 of the 16 COVID-19 cases in Vietnam with all fully recovering, students also returned to high schools.
The provincial Department of Education and Training said the department had directed all high schools to finish spraying chemicals to sterilise classes the day before school reopened.
Students had their temperatures checked and washed their hands before going to class.
This was especially the case in Vo Thi Sau High School of Binh Xuyen district where one student was infected with the virus but has already recovered.
Pham Thi Bich Ngoc, a teacher at the school, said all students were taught the best ways to prevent the spread of the virus, including washing hands and wearing masks properly as well taking the best course of action if they felt unwell.
The 16 confirmed cases in Vietnam have been given the all clear, and no new cases have been reported since February 13.
According to AFP, the global death toll from the new coronavirus epidemic surpassed 3,000 on March 2 after dozens more died at its epicentre in China and cases soared around the world, with a second fatality in the US.
The virus has now infected more than 89,000 people and spread to nearly 70 countries after first emerging in China last December.