‘Robust measures in place’ to ensure well-being of pre-schoolers, staff during Wuhan virus outbreak: Desmond Lee

SINGAPORE (CNA) – Robust measures have been put into place to ensure that children in pre-schools are given adequate protection during the Wuhan virus outbreak, said Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee yesterday.

Speaking to reporters after a visit to a My First Skool centre in Buangkok where he observed the implementation of additional steps which the pre-school had put in place, Lee stressed the importance of such initiatives as well as the measures which the government has already taken to help students and teachers.

Among the steps implemented by the My First Skool centre is having temperatures taken for parents as they drop off their children.

“These are measures which are needed to ensure the well-being of our children and pre-school staff,” he said.

“Yesterday we also announced (the implementation of) a leave of absence for children in pre-schools as well as pre-school staff who have visited China in the last 14 days and moving forward.”

A parent is given hand sanitiser by a staff member at the My First Skool centre in Buangkok. PHOTO: CNA

He added, “This is again a stepped-up precautionary measure because in pre-schools and these other social facilities, we have more vulnerable communities like young children, elderly, persons with disabilities and so on.

“For parents, please be assured that we have robust measures in place; we are working closely with our pre-school operators.”

My First Skool, which has more than 140 centres islandwide, has rolled out measures such as increased cleaning of facilities, as well as increased frequency of temperature taking to safeguard students and staff, said general manager Thian Ai Ling.

“On a daily basis, we’ve always paid close attention to personal hygiene,” she said.

“Given the current situation, what we have stepped up is an additional layer of temperature taking as well as (during) multiple periods throughout the day, we are closely watching our children’s well-being, ensuring that they do not show any symptoms.

“Should they do, we will contact parents immediately.”

The hands of parents and children were also sanitised before they entered the premises.

In addition, staff members also made sure to check on the travel history of students and their parents, in the event that they did not complete a travel declaration which was sent last week.