ULAN BATOR, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- The Mongolian government on Monday decided to extend winter vacation at all general educational schools in the country's capital by a week due to the prevalence of flu and other respiratory diseases.
"The incidence rate of flu and flu-like illnesses is now up 4 percent in Ulan Bator compared to the same period last year. The Health Ministry concluded the illnesses might persist when school starts," the country's Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Sports said in a statement.
"That is why the government decided to extend the winter vacation," it said.
Schools in Ulan Bator would now reopen on Jan. 20 instead of Jan. 13, according to the ministry.
The winter vacation of the schools across Mongolia started on Dec. 23.
Ulan Bator, the world's coldest capital in winter, suffers one of the world's heaviest levels of air pollution.
The city is also home to nearly half of the country's child population, whose lung functions are poorer than those from rural areas.