Comprehensive measures rolled out to ensure children's safety against COVID-19 at school: Minister hinh anh 1All students at Nguyen Cong Tru primary, secondary and high school in Nam Dinh have returned to school (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – With the Ministry of Health's guidance, the Ministry of Education and Training and localities have made plans, scenarios, roadmaps, implemented rehearsals and prepared necessary conditions to get children back to school safely, Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Kim Son told National Assembly deputies on February 25.

The minister underlined that bringing children back to school is a must and an obvious trend.

As of 11am of February 25, 88.25 percent of children had returned to school for face-to-face learning, he noted.

Training has been provided to teachers and parents to respond to COVID-19 infections at schools, he said.

The minister said that localities can flexibly adjust the time of concluding the 2021-2022 academic year.

As part of efforts to adapt to the situation, right before the Lunar New Year (Tet) Festival, 55 out of 63 localities nationwide had plans allowing pre-school children to return to school, while 57 allowed primary students back to school and 59 allowed high schools to resumed in-person classes.

Grassroots reports showed that only 18 percent of students were infected with COVID-19 at schools, and the majority contracted the virus at home, he said, stressing that allowing children to return to school is a proper policy.

Meanwhile, answering NA deputies’ questions on the plan to vaccinate children in the age of 5-11 against COVID-19, Deputy Minister of Health Do Xuan Tuyen said that the Prime Minister has allowed the Ministry of Health to buy nearly 22 million doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for the group, which is expected to arrive in Vietnam before April 30. The ministry has guided local health care facilities on safe vaccination among the children.

As of February 25, 99 percent of people above 18 years old had received at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot, while 98 percent getting two doses and 32 percent having three. Meanwhile, 99 percent of children aging from 12-17 had got at least one dose and 94 percent had two. So far, Vietnam has injected about 193 million doses out of 213 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines it has received, he noted.

Regarding measures to ensure safety for children when they return to school, he said that the ministry is working closely with the Ministry of Education and Training to issue documents guiding the pandemic prevention and control activities, which can be applied flexibly in each locality to suit their situation.

He said that COVID-19 cases among children account for only 19 percent of the total infections, while the death rate is 0.4 percent. The majority of children showed mild symptoms that can be treated at home.

Speaking at the session, Chairman of the NA Committee for Culture and Education Nguyen Dac Vinh asked the Government to continue directing ministries, sectors and localities to issue policies to support the education-training sector, especially through support packages.

He requested the Ministry of Education and Training to give comprehensive and full assessments on the intermediate and long-term impacts from COVID-19 on education and training activities, while providing guidance on ensuring safety for teachers and students at school.

The Ministry of Health was requested to assess the risk for unvaccinated children under 12 years old and give detailed solutions to protect them. The expansion of the vaccination group to children under five years old must be considered carefully and scientifically, he said./.