Education Minister Ong Ye Kung in a social media post on Saturday (13 June), said some 1,600 students in Singapore have undergone COVID-19 swab tests as of 2 June.
The tests were part of the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) extended screening for all school staff and students above 12 years old who are diagnosed with acute respiratory infection (ARI).
Proactive COVID-19 Swab Tests
Mr Ong said the testing of those presented with ARI, is “very important. It helps us identify cases early so that we can isolate, quarantine and snub out [the] transmission. Then schools can stay safe and learning can continue.”
The minister also acknowledged that there may be some concerns among students. “I know many students will be worried – how can such a long stick go up my nose! It is a bit uncomfortable, but really not too bad, as this young girl shows us,” Mr Ong said.
Watch the full video here:
Previously announced COVID-19 Cases in Schools Have Recovered
Four students and one non-teaching staff have tested positive for Covid-19 as part of the extended surveillance testing on 7 June.
The five cases are from five different schools:
- Anglican High School
- CHIJ Katong Convent
- CHIJ St. Theresa’s Convent
- Geylang Methodist Secondary School
- Hwa Chong Institution
On 11 Jun, Mr Ong announced via Facebook that all five cases tested negative twice, and have been discharged. According to the education minister, the recovered patients will be returning to school next week.
“The five schools have been keeping in close contact with affected students and staff to offer support. During this period, students who have been placed on Leave of Absence (LOA) or Home Quarantine Orders (HQO) may be worried about catching up on their studies, but rest assured that the schools will support you with online lessons and consultations,” Mr Ong said.
In a press conference on 7 June, Mr Ong said that the ministry would consider closing individual schools if clusters are discovered within them. He, however, noted that the MOE will “do [their] best to prevent” such clusters from forming.
15-year-old St Anthony’s Canossian Secondary Student Tests Positive on 12 June
Meanwhile, a 15-year-old Singaporean girl who is a student at St Anthony’s Canossian Secondary was among the 347 new cases of COVID-19 infections reported on 13 June.
The case, which is currently unlinked, was picked up from the MOH’s proactive testing of students with acute respiratory infection.
According to MOH, her serological test result came back positive on 12 June. This is said to be indicative that she was likely to have been infected during the Circuit Breaker period, and not after school re-opening. She is currently an unlinked case.
ALSO READ: 347 New Cases Including 15-year-old Student, 1 More Death Reported on 13 June