CD and handbook for 12th graders to be distributed this week

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As of April 1, 2020, schools and kindergartens in 188 countries were closed due to COVID-19 infection. As a result, 89.5 percent of all students, or 1.5 billion students, are unable to attend classes. UNESCO reported that over 173 million students have been quarantined.

About the general entrance exam, Minister of Education, Culture, Science and Sports Yo.Baatarbileg reported on April 3.

“We will prepare and deliver 1,026 hours of tele-lessons by April 30. As a result, a total of 52,210 minutes and 3,020 hours of tele-lessons will be delivered to students without interruption. Online lessons have some advantages and disadvantages. Time of the general entrance exam is coming and we are distributing related materials to 12th graders. The general entrance exam will take place between July 2 and 5 after the elections, the State Emergency Commission stated on March 22. Currently, it is considered to be not canceled,” he said.

“I don’t know if the restriction period will be extended or not. In the case of an extension, we are researching ways to organize class lessons for 12th graders. There are 66 schools in Mongolia with more than 100 graduating students, 41 in Ulaanbaatar and 25 in province centers. According to our plan, the maximum number in one class will not exceed 15. We are preparing to distribute CDs and handbooks to 12th graders nationwide starting this week. The CDs include all TV lessons for 12th graders, assignments, answer sheet templates, rules, procedures, and other tips and information about the general entrance exam. It also includes standard exercises and assignments for all subjects of the general entrance exam of 2019. Handbooks and CDs were distributed because the internet was not fully accessible and many students could not watch TV lessons,” he noted.

There are 820 secondary schools operating nationwide in the 2019 to 2020 academic year. Of these, 590 schools have 28,567 students who will graduate 12th grade. 41.7 percent or 11,908 of the total students are studying in Ulaanbaatar. 53 percent (431) of all secondary schools are located in province centers, 42 percent (343) in soum centers, and five percent (46) in bag centers.

Head of the Education Evaluation Center J.Gan-Erdene said, “Currently, 16,911 examiners have registered for the general entrance exam. The previous year, there were 1,803 examiners, while three examiners with disabilities were registered. Preparations are underway to hold this year's examination nationwide on July 2 to 5 without delay. Online registration for the general entrance exam ends on April 15 at 6:00 p.m. Compared to previous years, this year's registration process is poor. People might think that registration of examinations is postponed. But it is not.”

No new confirmed case

During the brief of the Health Ministry on April 5, Head of the National Center for Infectious Disease D.Nyamkhuu highlighted that no new confirmed case of the coronavirus was registered in Mongolia.

“Two suspected patients who were isolated at the National Center for Infectious Disease and 62 people who came from Tokyo on April 4 tested negative for the coronavirus. Repeated test results of 169 people in isolation at Amar Hotel, 74 at the Central Military Hospital and four in Zuchi Hotel showed that they haven’t contracted the coronavirus. A total of 337 people were tested on April 4, all of whom tested negative for the coronavirus.”

Previously, two Turkish, 11 Mongolian nationals and one French man tested positive for the coronavirus in Mongolia. Two patients were discharged from hospital on March 30 after recovery.

266 Mongolians evacuated from Japan

According to the government, 266 Mongolian nationals came on the Tokyo-

Ulaanbaatar evacuation flight on April 3. There were 14 infants, more than 30 seniors and three pregnant women among the passengers. The plane also carried 1,284 kg of freights, reported the Ministry of Roads and Transport Development. 56 passengers traveled to Japan from other countries to return to Mongolia.

All passengers, cabin crew and medical professionals were directly transferred to isolation facilities for quarantine. The people arriving from Japan were not tested before boarding the flight in Tokyo due to Japan’s current policy only to carry out coronavirus testing for individuals with fever.

This is the sixth evacuation flight arranged by the government to evacuate Mongolian citizens from other countries due to the spread of the deadly new virus and a total of 1,510 people have arrived in Mongolia through special flights as of Sunday.

On April 8, Mongolian nationals will be evacuated from Seoul, South Korea. Currently, MIAT Representative Office in Seoul is registering people who want to go back to Mongolia. Registration will give advantage to pregnant people, seniors, children and people with health problems or disabilities. According to the order of the Health Ministry of Mongolia, all people who apply have to be tested for the coronavirus before their arrival.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia, the number of people who want to come to Mongolia has been increasing. A total of 47 embassies reported that over 6,000 Mongolians applied for evacuation. On April 3, the State Emergency Commission reported that it might increase in the future.

Mongolians are living in a hard situation abroad as they can’t work, shop, or walk outside due to the current situation, according to representatives of Mongolians aboard. Of the 6,154 people who applied for repatriation, 731 of them are children, 71 are people with medical reasons, 226 are seniors, 26 are pregnant, 135 are people with expiring visas, 374 are those with housing issues, 585 are students, 54 are in financial difficulties, and 3,904 applied for other reasons.

Previously, 251 Mongolians came through special aircraft from Seoul on April 2. All evacuated adults are required to pay 1.05 million MNT and children over six will pay 630,000 MNT for the mandatory 14-day quarantine. Children under five are exempt from payment.

Supporting prevention of coronavirus

On April 2, citizens of South Korea who are working and living in Mongolia donated 2,000 pieces of rapid test kit to the State Emergency Commission. The test kit can diagnose within three hours.

Expressing gratitude to representatives of Koreans in Mongolia for donation of necessary equipment, Deputy Prime Minister U.Enkhtuvshin received the items.

In addition, the Health Ministry of South Korea reported that it will donate coronavirus test kits to Mongolia during a meeting on April 3.

The Ulaanbaatar Department of Family, Child and Youth Development and Eyreg Temuulel NGO launched the Ertech Mongol campaign under the slogan “Health Mongolians - 10,000 masks”. In connection with the campaign, an e-training on nine topics will be held between April 8 and 17. To attend, participants must donate 50 masks. The International Education Center will select the top five participants, who will be awarded 50 percent scholarships to study in the Philippines.


Head of Surveillance and Operational Management Division of the Health Ministry D.Narangerel:

There are 71 pregnant women, 22 children who are aged between zero to one, 46 children aged between one to five, and 28 children aged between six to eight have been isolated and all of their health conditions are normal. Also, 35 people with chronic underlying disease are under doctor’s supervision in isolation facilities.

The World Health Organization and the International Monetary Fund made the following decisions:

-Boost funding to detect and analyze suspicious cases, collect information and communications campaigns. With good detection and analysis of suspected cases, it is possible to stop the outbreak.

-Strengthening the health care system: There is a need to improve the salaries, bonuses and working conditions of medical staff.

-All countries and organizations have to work together to address the financial challenges facing each country.

Within 24 hours, the first deaths were reported in Kuwait and Georgia. According to the World Health Organization, more than 40 percent of infection sources have not been identified. Therefore, regular hand hygiene is important.

Head of Foreign Relations Department of the Health Ministry B.Yanjmaa:

In Spain, the number of new infections has reached more than 7,200. The quarantine, which was scheduled to end on April 11, has been extended for another two weeks due the spread of the virus. The new death toll in Italy was 681, down slightly from the previous days. There is also a slight decrease in the number of patients who are in intensive care units.

New measures are being taken in North Lombardy due to the spread of infection. In particular, its citizens were required to wear masks when going outside. They also advised to wear a scarf when they don’t have masks due to shortage. This regime will be continued there until April 13.

More than 27,800 new infections were reported in the United States on Saturday, bringing the total to 305,000. The registered death toll reached 8,200 nationwide.

In Japan, 118 new cases have been reported in Tokyo. And all ages of patients are involved. For instance, there are girls aged 10 to 19 and men and women under 90. Younger people are at increased risk of infection.

The incidence of new infections is declining in South Korea. Coronavirus cases which are confirmed in isolation facilities or transported from abroad are increasing. Of the 81 new cases reported on Saturday, 24 were imported. South Korea decided to extend the restriction period and public congestion measures for another two weeks.

Of the 31 new cases reported in China, 25 were imported. There were 47 reported cases with symptoms. A total of 1,024 asymptomatic cases are being monitored.

World Bank approves 26.9 million USD for Mongolia’s

COVID-19 response

On April 2, the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved 26.9 million USD for Mongolia’s COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Project to meet emergency needs in the face of the pandemic and to better prepare for future health crises.

   The project will address the immediate needs in response to COVID-19 such as training for emergency care doctors, nurses and paramedical staff; purchase of medical and laboratory equipment and supplies as well as build COVID-19 diagnostic capacity in Ulaanbaatar and all provinces. It will also rehabilitate health facilities; institute infection control measures and training across health facilities; and support public health information and communication campaigns for disease prevention and management.

           “The global COVID-19 pandemic clearly calls for strengthening the preparedness and resilience of health systems to respond to such crisis situations,” said World Bank Country Manager for Mongolia Andrei Mikhnev. “This emergency operation will not only provide immediate support to address the COVID-19 pandemic, but will also benefit Mongolia’s health sector in the longer term to become more resilient to future health emergencies,” he added.

           The project funding comprises a 13.1 million USD credit from the International Development Association and a 13.8 million USD credit from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, allocated as part of the World Bank Group’s 14 billion USD COVID-19 fast-track financing package. Retroactive financing up to 4.2 million USD of the total amount will be available for eligible expenditures incurred by the government from January 1, 2020.

           The World Bank Group is rolling out a 14 billion USD fast track package to strengthen the COVID-19 response in developing countries and shorten the time to recovery. The immediate response includes financing, policy advice, and technical assistance to help countries cope with the health and economic impacts of the pandemic.

Enkhnaranjav Tumurbaatar