SINGAPORE: Two students and a teacher from three different primary schools - Fuchun, Frontier and Maha Bodhi School - have tested positive for COVID-19, said the Ministry of Education on Monday (May 17).
One of the cases is an eight-year-old boy from Fuchun Primary School who is linked to a previous case. He was last in school on May 12 and was well, said MOE.
According to the Ministry of Health (MOH), the boy is a family member and household contact of a software engineer at ST Engineering who tested positive on May 12. The boy was placed in quarantine on the same day.
He was tested for COVID-19 on May 15 during quarantine and his infection was confirmed the next day.
The second case is a 37-year-old teacher from Frontier Primary School. Her infection is currently unlinked to previous cases, said MOH.
She was last in school on May 14 and was well, said MOE.
Later that day she developed a sore throat, body aches and a fever and was tested for COVID-19 at a clinic. Her test result came back positive on May 16.
MOH said she has also tested "preliminarily positive" for the B1617 variant which was first detected in India.
Both schools moved to home-based learning on Monday, two days ahead of schedule, to prevent the risk of any transmission, said MOE.
It was announced on Sunday that all primary and secondary schools, as well as junior colleges and Millennia Institute, will implement full home-based learning from Wednesday until the June holidays.
It comes after several primary school students tested positive for COVID-19 in recent days, with most of the infections linked to tuition centres.
MOE said both schools have been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Close contacts of the confirmed cases have also been placed on quarantine orders, and will undergo COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) swab tests.
Investigations and contact tracing by the Ministry of Health (MOH) are under way, added MOE.
“MOE is in contact with the schools to provide the necessary support for teachers and students in conducting online learning. Teachers are also in contact with students and parents,” it added.
A seven-year-old student from Maha Bodhi School has also tested positive for COVID-19.
She was placed in quarantine from May 14 as she had attended the same external student care centre, Seedlings World Student Care @ Frankel, as an earlier confirmed case from St Stephen’s School.
The St Stephen's School student had attended classes run by an infected private tutor at Learning Point Tuition Centre in Parkway Centre.
The student from Maha Bodhi School was last in school on May 12 and was well, said MOE. She developed a fever on May 15 and was tested for COVID-19 on the same day. Her test result came back positive on May 16.
"As this is a linked case, where she had developed symptoms after being quarantined, MOH does not require contact tracing among school contacts," said MOE.
The school will continue with physical lessons from May 17 to May 18, before starting full home-based learning on May 19, the Education Ministry added.
"MOE will continue to monitor the situation closely, and work with the school and parents to ensure the well-being of staff and students," said the Education Ministry.
With the increase in the number of local cases, MOE urged all students and staff members to continue practising good personal hygiene and adhere to safe management measures.
This includes wearing masks, washing hands frequently, wiping down equipment and tables after each use, and seeing a doctor if they are sick.