The Ministry of Education on Wednesday (October 20) announced that primary school students will have to take a Covid-19 antigen rapid test (ART) every two weeks until school closes for the holidays in the month of November.
In a letter addressed to parents and guardians, MOE informed that 10 ART Kits will be distributed to each pupil from next Monday. This means that parents will no longer be required to buy more ART kits for their children.
Primary School Students To Take Covid-19 Antigen Rapid Test Every 2 Weeks: MOE
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The objective behind regular testing is to instil social responsibility among the pupils and as well as keep schools safe for learning.
- Under the new testing regime, pupils will be required to perform one ART swab at stipulated times.
- The first test should be taken by October 31 and the second one must be held on November 14.
- Parents and other caregivers will have to supervise their children when their kids take the ART.
- Once the results are out, parents can submit them at the link provided by their child’s school.
- MOE mentioned that in case the test comes out to be positive, pupils must immediately inform the school through the form teacher immediately.
- Those who test positive for COVID-19 and are unwell will be sent for a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test at Swab and Send Home Public Health Preparedness Clinic.
- Those who receive a positive ART result, but feel well, will have to self-isolate for 72 hours before taking another ART. They will be able to end their isolation when their result comes negative.
“Make Testing A Way Of Life”
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The government continues to encourage more people to test themselves regularly with ART Kits.
Minister of Trade and Industry, Gan Kim Yong, also shared that testing is the key to detecting infections early and can reduce the risk of further transmissions.
He urged Singaporeans “to make testing a way of life and to always self-test before visiting any crowded place.” He also reminded that precautions should also be followed when visiting people who are more vulnerable, such as the elderly or children.”
Staff who is working in settings with unmasked clients and are in prolonged exposure when performing services need to take regular tests, regardless of their vaccination status.
The same rule applies to those who are involved in frequent community interactions. For instance, people working as food delivery personnel and in retail supermarkets.
Current COVID-19 Cases In Singapore
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The new rule for kids comes at a time when coronavirus cases in the community are going up. On Tuesday, there were 3,480 COVID-19 infections reported.
Out of these, 201 are kids aged 11 and below. Therefore, parents need to be more careful and alert, as kids in this age group are currently not eligible for COVID vaccination.
From October 13, all primary schools resumed in-person classes. But pupils were not required to report this week because of the PSLE marking exercise, which takes place over four days.
MOE had extended the marking exercise until Friday, in what is called an “exceptional year.” Students will return to school on Monday.
Amid the rising cases in the state island, both Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the State Department advised travellers to avoid visiting the country, citing a “very high level of COVID-19” in Singapore.
Johns Hopkins University data says that Singapore had a record high 70,374 COVID cases in the last 28 days. Even though 82% percent of the people in Singapore are now fully vaccinated, half a million children under the age group of 12 still remain ineligible for vaccination.
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