Just one in 10 kids show up at pre-school linked to outbreak, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Just one in 10 kids show up at pre-school linked to outbreak

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Just one in 10 children attending Pat's Schoolhouse Kovan, which is linked to a new coronavirus case, turned up for school yesterday.

This was even as some students and teachers were placed on a 14-day leave of absence, and the school disinfected its premises.

On Sunday, the Health Ministry announced that a 71-year-old man, who reported the onset of symptoms on Feb 1, was confirmed to have the coronavirus infection.

He had picked up his grandchild at Pat's Schoolhouse Kovan before he was admitted to the hospital.

The news evidently spooked parents, with only one child turning up during the drop-off time frame from around 8am to 9am. The school was conducting classes as normal.

A couple, who identified themselves as Mr and Mrs Ng, had dropped off their son yesterday.

While they are worried, they said they believe the school will "ensure a safe and clean environment for the children".

Mr Ronald Kwong, director of operations at Busy Bees Singapore that runs the Pat's Schoolhouse pre-schools, said the attendance figure was about 10 per cent.

On the school's decision to place affected students and staff on leave of absence, Dr Piotr Chlebicki, an infectious disease specialist at Mount Alvernia Hospital, said most parents need not worry.

"Unless the grandfather had gone into the classrooms and spent time playing with all the children, there is no reason to do anything."

Mr Kwong said the Kovan centre - the largest of 15 - "undertook additional disinfection of the entire premises, including external areas, when we were alerted of this case".

The frequency of disinfection and sanitisation has been increased across all its centres.

The grandfather who contracted the virus had also visited Paya Lebar Methodist Church.

The Methodist Church in Singapore yesterday said the church will be sealing its premises for thorough sanitisation. The kindergarten at the church will also be closed for cleaning until further notice.