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Singapore

Primary school students must do COVID-19 antigen rapid tests once every 2 weeks until end of term

Primary school students must do COVID-19 antigen rapid tests once every 2 weeks until end of term

Singapore students wearing masks in school. (File photo: Facebook/Chan Chun Sing)

SINGAPORE: Primary school students will be required to take an antigen rapid test (ART) once every two weeks until the end of Term 4, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said.

The testing will "inculcate social responsibility" among students and keep schools safe for learning, the Education Ministry said on Thursday (Oct 21) in response to CNA's queries. The requirement will also apply to students in the primary or junior sections of special education schools.

Schools will distribute 10 ART kits to each student from Oct 25, it added.

One test should be done in the week of Oct 25 to Oct 31, and another in the week of Nov 8 to Nov 14.

They will have until the end of the specified week to do the swab.

Students who get a positive result from the ART test but are well should follow the Ministry of Health's (MOH) guidelines and self-isolate for 72 hours, MOE said. Another ART self-test should be conducted.

“The student can end self-isolation and return to school when a negative ART result is obtained,” MOE said.

Those who are unwell should seek medical attention at a Swab and Send Home Public Health Preparedness Clinic.

"We urge all students and staff to continue practising good personal hygiene and exercising social responsibility through regular testing," added MOE.

COVID-19 taskforce co-chair Lawrence Wong said on Wednesday that while there are “very stringent" safe management measures in schools, conducting regular testing for students and staff will help minimise the spread of infection.

“We do think these forms of testing that can be done regularly … these are ways in which we can continue to, as much as possible, carry out normal activities, but ensure that these are done safely,” Mr Wong said.

On Wednesday, MOH announced that Singapore will extend its current COVID-19 restrictions for another month as more time is needed to stabilise the situation.

The restrictions under the Stabilisation Phase, which started on Sep 27 and was originally scheduled to last until Oct 24, was implemented to reduce the strain on the country's healthcare system. It has now been extended to Nov 21.

These include a cap of two people for social gatherings and keeping work from home arrangements as the default.

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Source: CNA/ga

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