After four students and one teacher from different schools tested positive for Covid-19, Ong Ye Kung has found himself on the receiving end of mock praise from netizens.
According to a recent press release by the Ministry of Education (MOE), the five cases are not a cluster as they came from different educational institutions. The schools the individuals were from are: Anglican High School, CHIJ Katong Convent, CHIJ St Theresa’s Convent, Geylang Methodist Secondary School and Hwa Chong Institution.
The five individuals were reported to have experienced mild symptoms. Three of the cases started experiencing them on June 3, while the other 2 began experiencing symptoms on June 2 and May 31. “While positive, the tests for all five cases revealed low viral loads,” the MOE reported. However, after a repeat test was administered, all five individuals tested negative. “The evidence suggests that they were likely infected during the Circuit Breaker period, and not after school re-opening,” said the MOE. “The student from Hwa Chong Institution was last in school on 7 April, before the start of the Circuit Breaker. Of the other four cases, three were last in school on 3 June, while one was last in school on 2 June.”
According to the press release, the five cases were screened before entering their respective schools and were not found to have a fever or any noticeable flu-like symptoms. The report assured that the five schools have been adhering to the strict safety measures. “The schools have also been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, following confirmation of the COVID-19 cases,” the report read.
The MOE is currently conducting contact tracing and has issued a 14-day quarantine period to those who had contact history with the five individuals. The Ministry has also stated that there will be no changes to the rotation system that has been put in place.
“Our schools have implemented a set of comprehensive safe management measures to bring students back in a careful and safe manner,” the MOE said, whilst stressing individual responsibility. “We would like to remind all parents, staff and students that if a student or any family member is unwell, the student should not go to school. This is crucial to keeping schools going.”
This news has raised concerns among netizens, with many resorting to an offering of mock praise to Education Minister Ong Ye Kung for pushing through with re-opening schools on June 2. While many blatantly called out the Ministry, others offered sarcastic commendations to Mr Ong. One netizen argued that despite the viral load of the five cases being low, they were still carrying the virus. Others questioned why students were going back to school when many adults are still having to work from home, arguing that schools were opened too early. One netizen even said that schools are “potentially the largest ‘breeding ground’ (for the) coronavirus.”
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