Wuhan Virus: Experts Say Delay In Schools' Reopening After CNY Break Unnecessary
Today, 29 January 2020, marks the first day of school after the Chinese New Year break in Singapore. Despite growing fears amid the rise of Wuhan Virus cases here, the Ministry of Education (MOE), following consultation from medical experts said delaying schools’ reopening is not necessary.
Despite Hong Kong’s implementation of delaying of schools’ reopening, experts here have concluded that “it is not necessary to do so” in Singapore.
Reason being at present, there is “no evidence of community spread of the virus in Singapore,” media reports said.
Besides, it is unlike in Hong Kong where it is of proximity to mainland China and “closer to the epicentre of the Wuhan virus outbreak,” according to the ministry in a frequently asked questions (FAQ) post on its website on Wednesday.
The ministry had also assessed that there is a “manageable” number of Singapore students and staff returning from China recently, and cannot be compared with those returning from China to Hong Kong.
The MOE had stepped up on precautions whereby staff and students have to adhere to a 14-day leave of absence from schools after their return from China.
800 students are expected to be affected by the move, and to engage in home-based learning instead.
According to MOE, this move is “more targeted, while allowing schools to open and life to carry on as normally as possible, which is an important aspect to safeguard in an emergency situation”.
It does not seek to restrict students and staff on leave of absence to “be isolated all the time” by staying home.
MOE’s intention is to urge individuals to be “socially responsible and comply with it to prevent possible transmission of infections”.
The move applies to those in MOE kindergartens, primary and secondary schools, special education schools, as well as junior colleges and polytechnics. It includes Millennia Institute and the Institute of Technical Education, according to MOE.
“Those who have close contact with people on leave of absence should closely monitor their health and adopt good hygiene practices. Those who feel unwell should seek medical assistance.”
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