Attendance at Victoria Junior College 'very normal' despite coronavirus situation: Ong Ye Kung

Attendance at Victoria Junior College 'very normal' despite coronavirus situation: Ong Ye Kung

Ong Ye Kung at VJC
Education Minister Ong Ye Kung on a visit to Victoria Junior College. (Photo: Facebook/Ong Ye Kung)

SINGAPORE: Student attendance at Victoria Junior College (VJC) was at 92 per cent on Monday (Feb 10) - a "very normal" rate, said Education Minister Ong Ye Kung, who visited the school a week after one of its teachers tested positive for the novel coronavirus

"Visited Victoria Junior College today to check in on the students and staff. Last week, one of the teachers was confirmed to be infected with the 2019-nCoV virus. 

"Glad to see that attendance was 92 per cent today - very normal - and students are in good spirits," said Mr Ong in a Facebook post. 

READ: Precautionary measures stepped up at Victoria Junior College after teacher tests positive for novel coronavirus

READ: Novel coronavirus in Singapore - What we know about the 43 confirmed cases

However, he said he was "troubled" to hear that "some members of the public had shunned (VJC students) in uniform, even going so far as to refuse to serve them". 

"This is not what we stand for in Singapore and I'm sure the few don't reflect the larger population.

"As I shared with the school, it's important to remember that how we treat the affected people could be how the rest of the world treats us Singaporeans. They could avoid us just because we have confirmed cases of nCoV infections," said Mr Ong. 

Mr Ong said he "cheered" up after hearing the students "express their desire for school life to go on as far as possible, with precautions, and despite some calls for school closures". 

Following the news of the teacher last week, the Ministry of Education's director of schools Liew Wei Li said that the school would disinfect the staff room, pantry and teaching rooms the teacher was in.

Co-curricular activities were also suspended for two weeks and instead of lectures, there would be more "tutorial-size" classes, she said. 

The 42-year-old Singaporean teacher first reported symptoms on Feb 2 and was admitted to hospital three days later. Coronavirus infection was confirmed on Feb 6. 

She did not interact with colleagues and students after displaying symptoms and was last at school on Jan 31. 

A few colleagues and students who had been in close contact with her were given 14 days' leave of absence starting from the last day of contact. 

Singapore has reported 43 cases of novel coronavirus as of Sunday.

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Source: CNA/hs

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