Three hostels at the Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) have been designated as government quarantine facilities, announced Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung at a press conference on Jan. 27.
These hostels are:
- National University of Singapore (NUS), Prince George's Park.
- Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Hall 1 (grad hall).
- Singapore Management University (SMU), Block 83 Prinsep St.
The announcement, in response to a question from Mothership, confirmed social media conversations that students at these institutes were asked to move out of their accommodations to make way for quarantine measures.
National response in preparation for more cases
"I apologise to the students for the inconvenience, I seek their understanding. This is part of our national response...I think as part of the national response we just want to get these facilities ready.
We hope it won't happen but should there be more contact tracing, more confirmed cases...we will use these facilities.
So it's better now, before it (more confirmed cases) happens, hopefully it won't happen, to get the facilities ready."
For foreign students who have no other means of accommodation in Singapore, they will continue to stay in the hostels.
Ong elaborated that NUS and NTU had enough facilities to accommodate the students who had to move to a different hostel.
For SMU, which had fewer rooms available, Singaporean students will be asked to go home.
Ong also encouraged all Singaporean students to go home and not stay at the hostels during this period.
More hostels may be affected
The three hostels are not the only ones being prepared.
Ong said that more hostels are affected, and the Ministry of Education (MOE) will make a separate announcement in time to come.
He added that he did not have the exact numbers for the students who will be affected by this measure, but said that he appreciated all the students for "doing their part."
Top image via Google Street View and screen grab from Straits Times Facebook video.