SINGAPORE: All PAP Community Foundation (PCF) centres will be closed from Thursday (Mar 26) for four days after 14 employees from the PCF Sparkletots centre in Fengshan tested positive for COVID-19. 

Among the employees infected with the virus is the centre’s principal, said the Early Childhood Development Agency in a statement. 

READ: Singapore reports 73 new COVID-19 cases, new cluster involving PCF Sparkletots centre linked to 18 cases

READ: Singapore scientists plan to start testing COVID-19 vaccine this year

The principal was well when she was at work on Mar 17, but developed symptoms in the afternoon, said an ECDA spokesperson. 

“On that day, she had a meeting with her staff and later attended a course with other pre-school staff in the evening. 

“The principal saw a doctor the next morning on Mar 18 and was on medical leave until Mar 20,” said the spokesperson. 

Most of the other employees who tested positive began developing symptoms from Mar 20 and over the weekend, said ECDA.   

The agency added that four of the principal’s family members, who do not live with her, also tested positive on Mar 23 and Mar 24. Contact tracing by MOH is ongoing.

CHILDREN, EMPLOYEES TO BE QUARANTINED

During the closure of centres from Mar 26 to Mar 29, PCF will “review and reiterate its enhanced precautionary measures with staff as well as to undertake cleaning and disinfection of all their premises”, said ECDA. 

The centre at Block 126 Fengshan will close for two weeks. 

MOH has also placed all children and staff who were present at the centre between Mar 16 and Mar 24 on quarantine, said ECDA. 

“ECDA is closely monitoring the situation, and working with the management, staff, parents and children … to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all,” added the agency. 

INFECTED TEACHER DID NOT TRAVEL OVERSEAS: CHERYL CHAN

The teacher infected with COVID-19 from the PAP Community Foundation (PCF) Sparkletots centre in Fengshan did not travel overseas nor did she show any symptoms when in school. 

She also did not have any family members who contracted the novel coronavirus, said Member of Parliament (MP) for Fengshan Cheryl Chan on Wednesday. 

Ms Chan in her Facebook post said that it was not “a blame game”. “It’s getting the facts right and helping with the situation,” she added.

“In our childcare centres, they take all necessary precautionary measures as they understand the importance of safety, hygiene and that they deal with young children,” said Ms Chan. 

“Fact remains that the teacher unknowingly contracted the virus and now others in the centre are at risk.” 

Ms Chan said the closure was “the right thing to do in the interest of the children and the community”. 

“Our teachers have always put their heart and soul to teach and care for the children.”

“None of the teachers would knowingly do anything that puts the children at risks,” the MP added.

“The teacher herself feels equally bad to have caused inconveniences. But it is not her fault. She too, is fighting this virus.” 

Ms Chan encouraged parents to monitor the health condition of their children in the coming days. 

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