Thursday, 17 Jun 2021

6,500 students and staff at Singapore Polytechnic to be tested for Covid-19 from May 19

SINGAPORE – About 6,500 students, staff and vendors at Singapore Polytechnic (SP) will be tested for Covid-19 from Wednesday (May 19), after three students earlier tested positive for the virus.

There is currently no evidence to show that these cases, which were reported on Sunday and Monday, are linked to one another, said SP in a statement.

“However, given the three positive cases, as well as the locations and proximity of their schools in SP’s campus, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has decided to take an additional precautionary measure to reduce the risk of transmission within our campus,” it added.

The ministry prioritised several groups to be swabbed – about 6,500 students, staff and food court vendors from five schools in SP who were on campus on or after April 29.

The schools include the School of Computing, the Media, Arts & Design School, the School of Business and the School of Mechanical & Aeronautical Engineering.

Only students on Continuing Education and Training (CET) courses and programmes from the School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering will have to be swabbed for now.

The testing, expected to last a few days, will take place at the Sports Arena of SP’s Dover Road Campus, the school said.

All affected individuals will be informed by the Health Ministry via SMS on the details of their swab tests.

MOH said it will consider the overall risk level after the first segment of testing is completed, before deciding if the rest of the SP community has to be swabbed.

The polytechnic has more than 14,000 students and staff.

Since Tuesday, SP has moved all lessons online until May 28, including practical classes.

Prior to this, all tutorials and lectures were already planned to be conducted online until the end of Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) on June 13.

SP has also thoroughly cleaned and disinfected the campus premises while a leave of absence has been issued to the students’ classmates.

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On Monday, a 16-year-old SP student was reported to have the B1617 variant of the virus that was first detected in India, while a 32-year-old IT engineer enrolled as a part-time adult learner also tested positive for the virus.

On Sunday, an 18-year-old Year 2 student from the Media, Arts and Design school was reported to have the virus. He was last on campus on May 11.

The three students are doing well, said SP.

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