SINGAPORE: Children who test positive for COVID-19 will not be separated from their families, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Sunday (Dec 26), in response to a report published by Bloomberg about Singapore's COVID-19 restrictions.
An opinion piece published by Bloomberg on Dec 23 cited returning residents, who were unidentified, as saying that they had been "forced from their homes, ordered to share quarantine facilities with complete strangers, told to hand their unsupervised children off to authorities, and urged to abandon their pets".
In its response, MOH said that those who test positive for COVID-19 may be isolated in care facilities with another COVID-19 positive patient in order to optimise the use of its overall healthcare capacity.
"However, contrary to what the article said, children will not be separated from their families."
Those aged 12 years and below will stay with a caregiver, while those between the ages of 13 and 19 are allowed to isolate alone only with the written consent of their caregivers.
"According to our checks, all children aged 12 years and below who were under quarantine or isolation have been accompanied by a caregiver," said the ministry.
"These public health measures apply to everyone, be it Singapore citizens, permanent residents or foreigners."
MOH said that the measures are also temporary in order to give it time to learn more about the Omicron variant, and to adapt and adjust its responses accordingly.
On Saturday, MOH reported a total of 248 new COVID-19 cases, of which 66 were imported.
Singapore has reported 448 confirmed Omicron COVID-19 cases to date, comprising 369 imported cases and 79 local infections, the ministry reported on Saturday.
It has also identified a cluster of 10 Omicron COVID-19 cases linked to a bar on River Valley Road. The primary case in the cluster is a traveller who arrived in Singapore on Dec 14 from the United States via a vaccinated travel lane flight, MOH said on Saturday.