SINGAPORE: A COVID-19 cluster has emerged linked to a tuition centre, with a tutor, seven children and a 41-year-old household contact testing positive.
Identified as Case 63131, the tutor - a 50-year-old Singaporean woman teaching at the Learning Point branch at Parkway Centre - was confirmed to have COVID-19 on Wednesday (May 12).
On Saturday, Learning Point issued a statement on its website which outlined a timeline and action taken in the case of the tutor.
May 3: The tutor experiences diarrhoea and a headache.
May 6: She develops a “slight fever”, which subsides after she took medication. She then feels well enough to do her workout routine that morning, according to the Learning Point.
May 7: The tutor conducts a class at the Learning Point’s outlet at Century Square in Tampines.
May 8: She conducts a class at the Learning Point’s Parkway Centre branch in Marine Parade Central.
“She did not register a high temperature during routine scanning, either at mall entry or at either of the two centres,” the Learning Point said in its statement.
The Learning Point said CCTV footage showed COVID-19 safety protocols were observed at both locations - “hands were sanitised, the classroom was sanitised, the students observed social distancing and masks were worn throughout".
After the class, the tutor feels dizzy and visits a doctor the following evening, on May 9.
May 9: At the doctor, she is told her condition was likely due to a viral infection and she is sent home without swabbing.
May 11: She returns to the doctor and undergoes a swab test.
READ: Several students who tested positive for COVID-19 linked to private tutor at tuition centre: MOH
May 12: The tutor is confirmed as COVID-19 positive, and is warded in hospital.
The Learning Point takes “immediate action” to shut down both the Parkway Centre and Century Square branches, with both centres professionally cleaned and sanitised by Health Ministry-approved cleaning services that day.
“The teacher did not travel to any other centres in either April or May and our Thomson Plaza, Oasis Terraces, Bukit Timah Plaza and MacPherson Mall centres are unaffected,” it said in its statement.
All staff members and students in direct contact with Case 63131 are quarantined between May 12 and 13.
May 13: All other Learning Point staff members are “fully briefed”.
May 14: Of the 24 new COVID-19 cases reported, five were children from three different schools who were close contacts of Case 63131. They are:
- Case 63184 - a nine-year-old Singaporean boy studying at St Stephen’s School
- Case 63185 - a Singaporean girl, aged nine, who is a pupil at Kong Hwa School
- Case 63186 - a nine-year-old Singaporean boy who studies at St Andrew’s Junior School
- Case 63187 - a Singaporean boy, 8, who studies at Kong Hwa School
- Case 63188 - a seven-year-old Singaporean boy who studies at St Stephen’s School.
All three primary schools said they would temporarily shift to home-based learning.
Mr Lawrence Wong, co-chair of the multi-ministry task force tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, said in a briefing that all infections of school-going children have happened outside of schools, with “no evidence of transmission within the school system” so far.
May 15: Three other Learning Point tutors test negative as of 9.04am.
May 16: Case 63251, a 41-year-old household contact and family member of Case 63187 - and two siblings (Case 63259, who is 12, and Case 63268, who is 8) from St Andrew's Junior School who shared a school bus with case 63186 - were confirmed by the Ministry of Health to be linked to the Learning Point cluster.
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