Coronavirus: Singapore

VJC student tests positive; over 100 quarantined

All students there barred from entering school for whole of this week; lessons to be held online

Victoria Junior College has thoroughly cleaned and disinfected the school premises, said MOE. Some 2,200 students, staff and vendors of the school, as well as visitors, will be swabbed for Covid-19 as a precaution.
Victoria Junior College has thoroughly cleaned and disinfected the school premises, said MOE. Some 2,200 students, staff and vendors of the school, as well as visitors, will be swabbed for Covid-19 as a precaution.ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

About 2,200 students, staff and vendors of Victoria Junior College (VJC), as well as visitors to the school, will be swabbed for Covid-19 as a precaution after an 18-year-old student tested positive on Friday.

Through the whole of this week, starting tomorrow, all students there will not be allowed into the school and lessons will be conducted online to allow for the swab tests to be completed and finalised.

To curb the risk of transmission, 95 students and eight staff who had been in close contact with the student have been placed on quarantine order, said the Ministry of Education (MOE).

The student was among the seven Covid-19 cases in the community announced yesterday.

She was last in school on Wednesday and developed acute respiratory symptoms later that day.

She consulted a doctor the next day and the result came back positive on Friday.

VJC has since thoroughly cleaned and disinfected the school premises, MOE said.

During this period, teachers will keep in regular contact with students and parents.

"With the increase in the number of local cases over the past week, we urge all students and staff to continue practising good personal hygiene and adhering to safe management measures," the ministry said. These include wearing masks, washing hands frequently, wiping down equipment and tables, seeing a doctor if they are sick and returning to school only when fully recovered.

VJC is the second school to be affected over the past two weeks.

On May 1, a 15-year-old student at Edgefield Secondary School tested positive for the virus. The school shifted to full home-based learning over the last week.

  • Update on cases

  • New cases: 20

    Imported: 13 (6 Singaporeans, 3 permanent residents, 1 dependant's pass holder, 2 work permit holders, 1 short-term visit pass holder)

    In community: 7 (4 Singaporeans, 1 PR, 2 work permit holders)

    In dormitories: 0

    New community cases in the past week: 43 (10 unlinked cases)

    Active cases: 388

    In hospitals: 133 (2 in ICU)

    In community facilities: 255

    Deaths: 31

    Patients with Covid-19 who died of other causes: 15

    Total discharged: 60,897

    Discharged yesterday: 6

    TOTAL CASES: 61,331

Tomorrow, students will return to the school in Punggol after about 1,500 students, staff and external vendors tested negative.

This is also the second time that a member of VJC has tested positive for the virus. In February last year, a 42-year-old teacher was confirmed to have the infection.

Another case announced yesterday is a part-time GrabFood delivery man. The 40-year-old Singaporean also works for Batamindo Shipping & Warehousing as an operations assistant at Keppel Distripark.

He is asymptomatic and was detected when he was tested on Tuesday as part of routine testing for the maritime sector. His test result came back positive on Wednesday.

His earlier routine tests - the last being on March 14 - were negative. His serology test result has come back positive, which suggests a past infection, but the Ministry of Health (MOH) has assessed that this is likely a recent infection.

He had not been at Pasir Panjang Terminal and his case is unlinked, the ministry said.

There were also two community cases linked to the Pasir Panjang Terminal cluster yesterday, taking the case tally for the cluster to eight.

They are family members and household contacts of three previous cases linked to the cluster. They were previously quarantined after being identified as close contacts of a trailer truck driver who works at Pasir Panjang Terminal and Brani Terminal.

One of them is a car mechanic who visits Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) camps for servicing and repair of vehicles but does not interact with SAF personnel, said MOH.

Separately, the Ministry of Defence said yesterday that he last visited Clementi Camp on Tuesday.

While he had minimal contact with SAF personnel and none has been identified as close contacts thus far, the SAF has carried out immediate and thorough disinfection of the premises the affected individual had been in.

Overall, the number of new cases in the community has risen from 37 in the week before to 43 in the past week. The number of unlinked cases in the community has remained stable at 10 per week in the past two weeks.

There were also 13 imported cases, taking Singapore's total number of Covid-19 cases to 61,331.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 09, 2021, with the headline 'VJC student tests positive; over 100 quarantined'. Subscribe