The majority of university students in the Southeast Asian country were previously scheduled to resume their study on February 3, after their Tet holiday break has ended.

The Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology and Education prepares a four-bed room in its dormitory to quarantine students when necessary. Photo: Tu Trung / Tuoi Tre

However, over 60 universities have requested their students to stay home for another week, from February 3 to 9, to protect themselves as well as lecturers and school staff members from the novel coronavirus.

In southern Vietnam, the list of universities includes the Ho Chi Minh City University of Law, University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh City University of Education, Banking University of Ho Chi Minh City, and 26 others.

In northern Vietnam, the list includes the University of Science, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Education, and University of Engineering and Technology, all of which are under the Vietnam National University-Hanoi, and 29 others.

A quarantine area is established at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

China and struck nearly 15,000 others globally, an overwhelming majority of whom are in China, since the first outbreak in Wuhan in December 2019.

Vietnam has confirmed seven cases so far, including four Vietnamese, one Vietnamese American, and two Chinese.

One of the Chinese has been cured.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Saturday signed Decision No.173.QD-TTg, declaring the acute respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus an epidemic in Vietnam.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam has grounded all flights to and from mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan to curb the spread of the deadly virus.

The country is mulling over closing down K-12 schools to prevent the viral contagion.