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Children in Vietnam returned to school after more than two months, as authorities gradually eased restrictions imposed since February to contain the spread of COVID-19.

With schools opening in the two biggest urban areas, capital Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, as well as many other provinces, a long period of children missing classes finally came to an end on Monday, reports Efe news.

The reopening process of Vietnamese educational institutions, which cater to around 22 million students, has progressed gradually, depending on the decisions of provincial governments.

On April 23, the Ministry of education published a series of guidelines for opening the educational centres, including the compulsory wearing of masks for both students and teachers, recording temperatures before entering the premises and maintaining a safe distance inside the classrooms.

Vietnam, with 288 cases of the coronavirus and no deaths so far, has been touted as a successful example of containing the coronavirus pandemic, despite not having access to a sturdy healthcare system.

The success of Vietnam – where no new infections have been detected in the last 24 days – is a result of early preventive measures such as widespread testing, targeted lockdowns of areas where cases had been detected, and the quick suspension of commercial flights and travel to and from China, where the pandemic originated last December.

The government has been gradually relaxing the restrictions to contain the epidemic and has opened lockdowns in major cities from April 23.

However, all gatherings of more than 30 people, as well as sports events, festivals, and religious functions, continue to be banned.

Wearing facemasks in public has been made mandatory for everyone.

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