RI classes to resume on Monday as no coronavirus cluster at school, student stayed home while unwell: MOE

Although Raffles Institution had already been cleaning its compound every day, the school suspended classes on Friday to carry out deep cleaning and disinfection as a precaution.
Although Raffles Institution had already been cleaning its compound every day, the school suspended classes on Friday to carry out deep cleaning and disinfection as a precaution.ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

SINGAPORE - Lessons will resume at Raffles Institution (RI) on Monday (March 2), as there is no cluster of infection in the school and the student infected with the coronavirus had not been active in school while he was unwell.

Meanwhile, staff members and students who had close, sustained contact with the infected student will be quarantined or put on leave of absence.

These were among the reasons outlined by the Ministry of Education on its website on Sunday morning, as it explained why the school is reopening after a 12-year-old RI student was confirmed last Thursday to have Covid-19.

"The student developed symptoms after a family member had been infected. The source of infection was outside the school," the ministry said in its response on its website to frequently asked questions about the coronavirus outbreak.

The MOE added that the student had not been active in school while he was unwell. He felt unwell after he left school on Feb 21 and had not gone to school since, as he was on medical leave.

The infected student was last in school six days before he was diagnosed with Covid-19.

Although RI had already been cleaning its compound every day, in line with standard protocol in all of Singapore's national schools, the school suspended classes last Friday to carry out deep cleaning and disinfection as a precaution.

The standard precautions also in place include practising some social distancing among students, checking students' health daily and keeping those who are unwell away from school, said the MOE.

"Hence, we have decided that RI is ready to reopen on Monday. However, we have contact traced staff and students who had close and sustained contact with the confirmed case, and they will be put on either quarantine or leave of absence," said the MOE.

 
 
 
 

Explaining why RI has put a stop to co-curricular activities for two weeks, the MOE said the suspension was necessary "to reduce inter-mingling of students from different classes, and further lower the risk of any transmission".

Meanwhile, classes at the Ministry of Education Language Centre in Bishan, which the boy had been to, were likewise suspended for a day as a precautionary measure to allow for thorough cleaning and disinfecting of the premises.

For the same reasons as RI, there is no need to suspend classes further, as the risk of transmission is low, added the ministry.

Students from the language centre who were in contact with the infected student will also be quarantined or put on leave of absence.

Sharing the ministry's response on Facebook, Education Minister Ong Ye Kung said: "While parents are understandably concerned, let us also remember to support our students, teachers and staff during this time."