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  • Singapore Preschools Ask Kids And Staff To Skip School For 14 Days If Coming From China

    To date, there are four confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in their country.
    by Kitty Elicay .
Singapore Preschools Ask Kids And Staff To Skip School For 14 Days If Coming From China
PHOTO BY iStock
  • As of January 27, 2020, there are nearly 3,000 confirmed cases of the 2019 ‘novel’ coronavirus (2019 nCov) or Wuhan coronavirus in several parts of the world including China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Nepal, Australia, United States of America, and France. There have also been 80 deaths in China due to the outbreak.

    Because of the rapid rise in confirmed cases, countries like Singapore have released precautionary measures for preschools “to ensure the health and wellbeing of all children and staff,” according to the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) in the country. Preschool employees and children returning from Mainland China are required to take a leave of absence (LOA) of 14 days on and from January 28, 2020. Those who have returned within the last 14 days (between January 14 to January 27) also need to take the LOA.

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    According to the ECDA, employees and children must do the following upon their return:

    • Declare their travel history to the preschool
    • Not report to the preschool during the 14-day-period
    • Monitor their health and seek medical attention promptly if feeling unwell

    Their date of return to Singapore will be considered Day 0. Employees and preschoolers will only be allowed to return on Day 15. Affected employees must be provided paid LOAs and in return, they should monitor their health closely while on leave.

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    It is not only employees and children who should keep clear of preschools. Parents and visitors who are unwell (and who experience fever or flu-like symptoms) should not enter preschool premises, according to the ECDA. Preschool operators and principals should remain vigilant and conduct health checks for all children, employees and visitors. They should also ensure good hygiene and monitor the health of their staff and students.

    This new measure was perhaps put in place after China’s National Health Commission revealed in a press briefing that the 2019 nCoV can be spread by an infected person before he or she starts to show symptoms.

    According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the symptoms of the 2019 nCoV, which includes fever, cough, and shortness of breath, can manifest in as few as two days and as many as 14 days after a person is exposed to it. This is based on the incubation period of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

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    Apart from this new precautionary measure, Singapore’s Ministry of Health strongly advises travelers to “defer all non-essential travel to Mainland China.” Preschool employees should also declare their travel plans (if they intend to leave the country any time soon) and travel history to their preschools, and follow the school’s instructions. The same goes for all families with preschool children who intend to leave the country or have left the country in the past 14 days.

    To date, there are four confirmed cases of the 2019 nCoV in Singapore while there are a total of 92 suspected cases, according to Channel News Asia.

    In the Philippines, a total of nine schools have suspended classes to conduct school-wide disinfection and sanitation procedures. The schools will also use the day to plan and put in place health and safety protocols to keep their students and employees safe from the virus.

    If you are a parent in need of financial assistance or support, approach the nearest Social Service Office or call the ComCare hotline at 1-800-222-0000. For any concerns, call ECDA at 6735-9213 every Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. or email them at contact@ecda.gov.sg

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    How contagious is the 2019 novel coronavirus? Click here to learn what we know so far.

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