Singapore

Coronavirus: Large group activities in schools suspended

Measures to protect students from virus include staggering recess times

School is going to be a much quieter place, for a while at least, after the Ministry of Education (MOE) announced yesterday that large group and communal activities such as assemblies, camps and mass celebrations will be suspended.

This comes after the Ministry of Health confirmed six new infections of the coronavirus. Singapore also recorded its first cases of local coronavirus transmission, and there are now 24 confirmed cases here.

In light of this, the authorities are taking further measures to protect students in school by minimising gatherings in large numbers.

The measures will take effect from today.

Recess times will be staggered, but after-school programmes including co-curricular activities can continue in smaller groups.

Madam Roszanah Latiff, a supervisor, whose son is in Primary 4 at Anderson Primary School, supports the move by the MOE.

Speaking to The New Paper yesterday, she said the school has also suspended after-school lessons.

The 42-year-old mother of four said: "As a parent I feel safer now that these measures are in place. I think it's a good step to minimise social contact with others in the current climate."

The announcement came in a joint statement by the MOE and the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF).

In the release, the Early Childhood Development Agency said it will suspend assemblies, excursions, field trips and mass celebrations at all pre-schools.

Temperature screening will continue for all visitors while it will be enhanced for all children and staff.

These measures will also apply to certain social services for vulnerable groups of people, such as residential facilities and disability day centres. Eldercare facilities will also suspend external excursions and large-scale gatherings.

The MOE and the MSF said: "We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will implement further measures should the situation escalate."

SAFER

A mother of three, Ms Kelly Kerk, 49, is another parent who supports the latest measures taken by the MOE.

"This makes me feel that my children are safer," said the manager.

"It is a way of showing how the government is willing to take drastic measures when (the situation) calls for it."

Her 11-year-old son, Bryan See, has just started Primary 5, which means he will get to see the National Day Parade preview live this year. He is keeping his fingers crossed that the outbreak will end soon.

"I hope the situation will get better as I'm looking forward to watching the NDP preview that my seniors told me about," he said.

MEDICAL & HEALTH