On Monday (23 March), 54 new COVID-19 cases were reported, and 48 of them were imported infections. The total confirmed COVID-19 cases in Singapore is now at 509.

A teacher at a PAP Community Foundation (PCF) Sparkletots centre was tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday. As reported on The Straits Times, an e-mail circular from the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) was sent to the parents, informing them that the pre-school at Block 126 Fengshan is closed on Tuesday (24 March). The closure was intended to allow for a thorough cleaning and disinfection at that particular premise as an added precautionary measure.

It was reported that the Ministry of Health (MOH) is currently conducting contact tracing to stop further developments. Classes and programmes will resume on Wednesday (25 March).

The press had stated that the Nursery Two teacher was last seen on 18 March for a few hours in the afternoon to attend to some work, adding that she was seen well. After that, she had been on leave from that very day till last Friday (20 March). She developed symptoms on Friday and had consulted a doctor.

In the aforementioned e-mail sent by the ECDA, it was announced there is no need to close the centre for 14 days, according to the ECDA Chief Licensing Officer Jamie Ang. She mentioned that the pre-school had implemented precautionary measures for the past month, including increasing the frequency of temperature screening to three times a day, ensuring personal and environmental hygiene practices among children and staff, restricting visitors, as well as suspending large group activities.

The senior director of PCF’s pre-school management division, Marini Khamis, said that the teacher – who is now COVID-19 positive – was not involve in conducting lessons for children although she went back to the centre to attend to some work on 18 March. Before stepping foot into the centre that day, the teacher had also cleared the necessary health checks and temperature screening.

Ms Khamis stated that the parents of the children attending that centre had been informed via telephone from the staff and teachers, as well as PCF’s parent engagement portal. Parents were also advised to monitor their children’s health and take them to a doctor if unwell.

Regarding the environmental hygiene of the centre, Ms Khamis explained that regular cleaning and sanitising frequently touched surfaces, toys, and shared items are being carried out.

“Since January 2020, PCF Sparkletots has been in strict compliance with the Covid-19 precautionary measures outlined by ECDA. We have aligned our measures with ECDA’s directives and remain prepared to step up these measures as and when needed,” noted Ms Khamis.

The centre also suspended all non-essential visits amidst the pandemic to avoid possible transmissions.

“We have suspended all non-essential visits to our centres during this period to minimise the risk of community transmission. Large group activities and excursions have also been suspended to minimise exposure of children and staff to large crowds,” according to Ms Khamis.

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