SINGAPORE, Sept 18 (Bloomberg): Singapore will move students through grades one to five -- typically 7 to 11 years old -- back to virtual learning as older ones take their national examinations later this month as a precaution against viral transmission.
The move is aimed at protecting children who aren’t medically eligible for vaccination, as well as reduce the number of students placed on quarantine orders or leave of absence prior to the exams, Education Minister Chan Chun Sing said in a Facebook post.
Singapore’s grappling with an increase in Covid-19 infections, with the country recording a total of 935 new cases Friday and 813 patients hospitalised.
The so-called home-based learning for the younger students will take place from Sept. 27 to Oct. 6, and the older ones will go on a study break before taking the Primary School Leaving Exams from Sept. 25 to Sept. 29.
The students are "encouraged” to take a swab test one or two days before the end of the break, he said.
For the record, Singapore's Friday Covid-19 numbers were its highest daily case record since last May and bringing the total tally in the city-state to 75,783.
Of the new cases, 838 are in the community, 96 in migrant worker dormitories and the other one is an imported case, the Ministry of Health said in a press release. Among the new cases, 241 are seniors who are above 60 years old.
A total of 813 Covid-19 cases are currently warded in the hospital. There are currently 90 cases of serious illness requiring oxygen supplementation, and 14 in critical condition in the ICU, said the MOH. Of those who have fallen very ill, 82 are seniors above 60 years old.
As of 1Sept 16, 82 per cent of the local population has completed two doses of Covid-19 vaccines, and 84 percent has received at least one dose.