Yesterday’s (June 7) COVID-19 update found that four students and one non-teaching staff from five different schools have been tested positive for the virus, sparking outrage from Peoples Voice’s (PV) Lim Tean. In a fiery Facebook post, Lim directed his anger to the current Minister for Education: “Ong Ye Kung – We Told You So!!!”
The Five Cases
The five cases identified were from Anglican High School, CHIJ Katong Convent, CHIJ St Theresa’s Convent, Geylang Methodist Secondary School and Hwa Chong Institution. The dispersion of these cases have rendered it to not be considered a new cluster.
MOE stated: “While positive, the tests for all five cases revealed low viral loads”. This led to the conclusion that the cases were likely infected during the circuit breaker period, not when school reopened after June 2.
Since the identification of these cases, the schools have been cleaned and disinfected.
Education Minister Ong Ye Kung lamented that these cases are a “good reminder for all schools to not be complacent” in light of the pandemic.
According to Lim, PV had shared their misgivings a week before school was scheduled to reopen on June 2. The party warned of the unstable coronavirus situation in the country and condemned the reopening of schools as a “reckless” decision made by Mr Ong and the government.
Lim argued that these cases “enables us (PV) to tell Ong Ye Kung – We told you so!!! Again PV has been proven right and the PAP wrong!”
Criticising the statement made by MOE that the cases were likely infected during the circuit breaker period, Lim wrote that this was a “very convenient excuse” for the ministry to give.
He continued by stating that “even if it is true that the schoolchildren were infected before school reopened, it attests to the dangers of reopening schools now because infected schoolchildren can easily infect others in school.”
Another criticism Lim raised towards Mr Ong was that the latter had failed to acknowledge the concerns parents had over sending their children back to school.
Bolstering this view was a video posted by PV a day before Lim’s outrage, where mother and grandmother Christy Loh expressed her concerns about students going back to school during this period. In the video, Loh expressed her disdain towards Mr Ong’s statement on compulsory school attendance from June 2, perceiving it as a threat to parents. She also questioned why there was a need to “rush to re-open the school in this pandemic period”. The viral nature of the video, which had garnered more than 19k views since its release, affirmed Lim’s belief that many parents share the same sentiments as Loh. The failure of Mr Ong to acknowledge these concerns have contributed to Lim’s outrage.
With elections looming, Lim’s post can be seen as a means to rally support for PV as seen in how he makes an explicit reference to the coming elections.
He wrote: “When you go to the polls soon, remember that PV is the only party that has been right on Covid-19 since February when the crisis first began.”
Lim concludes his post by stating: “Unlike the PAP, PV Puts People First!”
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