In view of the rising coronavirus cases, Singapore has decided to close down schools from Wednesday as authorities warned new coronavirus strains were affecting more children in the city-state.
Authorities announced the decision during a virtual media briefing and said that all primary and secondary schools as well as junior colleges would shift to full home-based learning from Wednesday. This mode of education will continue till the end of the school term on May 28.
From 19 to 28 May 2021, all primary and secondary schools, JCs, Millenia Institute, and Special Education (SPED) schools, will shift to full Home-Based Learning. This will help to ensure the well-being of all students and school staff. For more: https://t.co/m0MUVGOu69 pic.twitter.com/hqJVg5UBdx
— Singapore Government (@govsingapore) May 16, 2021
Just hours before the announcement, Singapore confirmed 38 locally transmitted COVID-19 cases, its highest daily count in eight months. Some of these cases involved children and were traced to a cluster at a tuition centre.
“Some of these (virus) mutations are much more virulent, and they seem to attack the younger children,” said Education Minister Chan Chun Sing.
Citing the ministry’s Director of Medical Services Kenneth Mak, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said the B.1.617 strain appeared to affect children more.
Singapore government is planning to vaccinate students under the age of 16 as well.
Home to 5.7 million people, the city-state had until recently been reporting almost zero or single-digit daily infections locally for months.
Taiwan too has shut down schools to battle a surge of fresh coronavirus infections.