Singapore Eyes Schools Reopening as Vaccinations Rise for Kids
Singapore Virus Cases at Close to 2-Week High Amid More Tests
(Bloomberg) -- Authorities in Singapore are planning to reopen schools in stages from the end of this month as the pace of vaccinations among children speeds up amid an increase in coronavirus cases.
Singapore is among the first few countries to authorize the use of Pfizer-Biontech vaccine for children 12 years and above. Since June 11, these students could get registered to receive vaccine jabs as part of Singapore’s plan to keep in step with developed economies that are beginning to reopen.
Education officials are looking to resume face-to-face instruction in schools in Singapore with the return of primary and secondary school students to be staggered starting from June 28.
“Close to 90% of our students have signed up for vaccination, and 1 in 3 of them have already received their first dose of the vaccine,” Education Minister Chan Chun Sing said in a Facebook post on Monday. “Going forward, we must combine vaccination with increased testing and rapid isolation of potential infection clusters to keep our schools open and safe.”
Over the weekend, an uptick in cases prompted the Health Ministry to close a shopping mall and food center temporarily after several infections were detected in those locations. Aside from cleaning operations, staff and tenants were made to undergo Covid-19 testing.
On Monday, Singaporean authorities found 19 new locally-transmitted coronavirus cases, the highest since June 3, due to an increase in testing amid a phased loosening of restrictions that started this week.
Two cases were untraceable while 17 cases were linked to earlier infections, government data showed. Of the new infections detected, one was discovered in a foreign worker dormitory. Six imported cases were already under quarantine.
On June 3, 35 coronavirus cases were detected, with just one infection unlinked.
The increase in cases comes after Singapore’s government decided to ease some of the restrictions imposed in mid-May following an outbreak. Starting from Monday, gathering sizes have been raised to five from two persons. If cases remain under control, the authorities will allow dining-in at restaurants and fitness classes from June 21.
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