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COVID-19 self-tests for primary school students in first week of new term as 'one-time sweep': Chan Chun Sing

COVID-19 self-tests for primary school students in first week of new term as 'one-time sweep': Chan Chun Sing

A primary school student cycles across the bridge over Kallang River in Potong Pasir, as schools reopened on Jun 2, 2020. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: The COVID-19 self-tests done by primary school students in the first week of the new term will serve as a "one-time sweep" to assure people, said Education Minister Chan Chun Sing on Sunday (Sep 12).

Pupils will head back to school on Monday for the start of Term 4, and in that first week, all primary school students will be given three DIY antigen rapid test (ART) kits.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced last month that three ART kits would be given to all students and employees of pre-schools, Ministry of Education (MOE) kindergartens, early intervention centres, primary schools and special education schools (primary and junior sections). 

This is on top of the six test kits distributed to all households from Aug 28 to Sep 27.

“We encourage families to familiarise themselves with the use by helping our students do a self-test at home this week,” Mr Chan said in a Facebook post.

“In time to come, we may also request for additional self-tests to be done. This would strengthen our efforts to further reduce the risks of transmissions in our schools.”

The other two ART kits will serve as future contingencies and will be replenished as necessary, he added.

Mr Chan outlined a four-pronged approach to keep children, teachers and staff safe amid a rise in COVID-19 cases.

Aside from self-testing, tight safe management measures will continue to be implemented in schools, said Mr Chan. This includes mask-wearing and good personal hygiene, as well as keeping co-curricular activities suspended.

He also said authorities will continue to “rapidly isolate and ringfence known cases and their close contacts to minimise transmission risks and disruption to the rest of the students, staff and families.”

“This sustainable approach will allow our children to continue learning safely.”

He also reminded parents not to send their children to school if their child is unwell, or if a family member is undergoing quarantine or required to be in isolation.

“While the children who have contracted COVID-19 thus far have relatively mild symptoms, we must remain vigilant,” he said.

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Source: CNA/ga(ac)

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