COVID-19: People's Association to suspend courses and activities for seniors

COVID-19: People's Association to suspend courses and activities for seniors

Line dancing group organised by PA
File photo of a line dancing group. (Photo: Facebook/The People's Association)

SINGAPORE: The People’s Association (PA) will suspend courses, organised activities and interest group activities in community clubs and residents’ committee centres that seniors regularly participate in, it announced on Tuesday (Mar 10). 

This will involve about 2,600 classes and 11,000 interest group activities, with about 290,000 non-unique participants, said the PA in a press release. 

The announcement is part of measures designed to help reduce the risk of further COVID-19 cases among seniors. The Ministry of Health separately announced that all senior-centric activities run by government agencies will be suspended for 14 days.

READ: Many local COVID-19 cases due to 'socially irresponsible' behaviour of a few, says Health Minister

PA's chief executive director Desmond Tan told a press conference on Tuesday that participants will get refunds for classes if the classes cannot continue after the 14-day suspension.

When asked about the specific programmes PA will suspend, Mr Tan explained it will be courses or classes "specifically tailored for seniors".

"They (seniors) do attend programmes that are open to all public, so we will not stop those programmes, but as far as those catered for seniors, we will suspend for the time being," Mr Tan added.

This comes after activities at seven CCs and RCs were suspended on Saturday, over links to COVID-19 patients in the cluster involving a private dinner function at SAFRA Jurong on Feb 15. 

READ: Senior-centric activities by government agencies to be suspended as part of additional COVID-19 measures

The SAFRA Jurong cluster has been linked to a total of 36 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Monday. 

“The SAFRA Jurong cluster has continued to grow and the virus has continued to spread as the dinner guests had taken part in community activities,” said PA in the release.

“Some of these guests were also participants of the People’s Association activities organised in Community Clubs/Centres (CCs) and Residents’ Committee Centres (RCs).” 

The cancelled classes and activities cover music, drama and dance, various exercises, basic IT and smartphone skills, and personal effectiveness and career development, said the association. 

The respective CCs and RCs will inform all affected participants directly on the suspension, it added. 

The association also announced additional measures on top of temperature taking and health and travel advisories. 

Explore our interactive: All the COVID-19 cases in Singapore and the clusters and links between them

The number of participants per activity will be reduced to ensure sufficient space between participants, and the rigour of activities will be adjusted to minimise contact and exertion, said PA. 

The duration of organised activities will also be shortened to minimise exposure, the association added. 

“For all our centres, we will also increase the frequency of sanitising equipment between uses and implement measures relevant to the different activities.

“We will also step up reminders for participants to exercise social responsibility and to stay at home when unwell as well as to practise good personal hygiene by washing hands frequently.” 

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Source: CNA/mi(db)

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