SINGAPORE: Several students who have tested positive for COVID-19 are linked to a private tutor at a tuition centre, said the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) director of medical services Kenneth Mak on Friday (May 14).
Speaking at a COVID-19 multi-ministry task force press conference, Assoc Prof Mak said that the students were picked up as part of epidemiological investigations and testing while being placed under quarantine.
The tutor, known as Case 63131, is a 50-year-old Singaporean woman who works as a private tutor at Learning Point.
She developed diarrhoea and a headache on May 3, a fever on May 6 and cough on May 11. She sought medical treatment at a general practitioner clinic on May 11 and was tested for COVID-19. Her test result came back positive for COVID-19 infection the next day. Her serology test result is pending, said MOH on Thursday.
All infections of school-going children have happened outside of the school, said Education Minister Lawrence Wong on Friday.
“We have a series of very tight measures to pick up and to detect and to ring-fence our school system,” he said.
“For example, the first ring of defence will be the close contacts, and then the second ring will include, if necessary, swabs of everyone in the school – staff and students,” he said, adding that the Government has done this in Edgefield Secondary School and Victoria Junior College.
Both schools have had a student test positive for COVID-19.
“Up to now, there is no evidence of transmission within the school system,” he said.
However, Mr Wong said that the Government will continue to monitor the situation closely and see if additional measures are required, after having tightened safe management measures in schools.
On Thursday, the Ministry of Education said that a student at Yio Chu Kang Primary School contracted COVID-19.
Two more primary schools are also conducting home-based learning from Friday after COVID-19 cases were reported among its student population.
According to notices seen by CNA, two students from Kong Hwa School and a student from St Andrew’s Junior School tested positive for COVID-19.
USING FACE SHIELDS
All teachers will no longer be allowed to wear face shields instead of surgical masks while teaching, said Mr Wong.
He was responding to a question on whether the private tutor had been wearing a face shield instead of a mask while conducting her lessons.
“All the schools will adopt a similar posture which is that we will no longer use face shields as a substitute for mask wearing,” he said, although he noted that the “vast majority” of teachers had already been using masks.
TAN TOCK SENG HOSPITAL CLUSTER
One more case was reported for the Tan Tock Seng Hospital cluster, bringing the total number of cases under this cluster to 44, said Assoc Prof Mak.
The patient was in quarantine, and there have not been any cases reported outside of the quarantine net for close contacts associated with the Ward 9D cluster, he added.
“We are reaching one incubation period and if we continue not to see any other cases beyond those that are already in quarantine, we may work with the hospital subsequently to see how to bring the hospital back to normal operations progressively over the next few weeks,” he said.
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