Covid-19: Sparkletots Preschool cluster increases to 20 cases, forming 3rd largest local cluster

15 of the cases are staff at the preschool, while five are family members of a staff.

Martino Tan| Julia Yeo| March 26, 09:32 PM

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has announced 52 new cases of the Covid-19 infection on Mar. 26, 2020.

This brings the total number of cases in Singapore to 683.

Of the 52 cases, 28 are imported and 24 are local cases.

Sparkletots Preschool cluster

20 of the confirmed cases (Cases 516, 521, 566, 567, 572, 583, 584, 601, 602, 603, 604, 605, 609, 610, 612, 614, 617, 624 and 660) are linked to a new cluster at PCF Sparkletots Preschool @ Fengshan Blk 126 (126 Bedok North Street 2).

15 of the cases are staff at the preschool, and five (Cases 521, 566, 567, 572 and 638) are family members of Case 601.

The cluster observed an increase of two cases, following yesterday's announcement (Mar. 25) of the new cluster.

Among the two new cases, Case 660 is a teacher while the other Case 638 is a family member of Case 601.

Case 660 was confirmed by Desmond Lee, Minister for Social and Family Development, who spoke to the media this morning (Mar. 26).

Principal attended training session with 30 attendees

The principal is among the affected staff at the preschool.

She was well when she went for work on Mar. 17, but developed symptoms in the afternoon.

On the same day, she had a meeting with her staff, and later attended a course with other preschool staff in the evening.

Lee revealed that around 30 people attended the training course.

She then consulted a doctor on the morning of Mar. 18, and was on medical leave till Mar. 20.

Most of the other staff who were infected began developing symptoms on Mar. 20 and over the weekend.

Four of the principal’s family members who do not stay with her also tested positive on Mar. 23 and Mar. 24.

All of the attendees at the training session have been quarantined.

All PCF centres to close temporarily, PCF convening COI

As a precaution, the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) has closed the Fengshan centre from Mar. 24 to Apr. 7.

All children and staff who were at the centre between Mar. 16 and Mar. 24 have also been placed under quarantine by MOH.

PCF will also close all 360 centres from Mar. 26 to Mar. 29, to review and reiterate its precautionary measures with its staff.

The PAP Community Foundation (PCF) will be convening a Committee of Inquiry (COI) to investigate the cause of the Covid-19 cluster.

In a statement issued past midnight Thursday (Mar. 26), PCF CEO Victor Bay apologised for inconveniencing the parents of some 40,000 children who attend PCF’s preschools and care centres affected by the closures.

Bay added that the internal committee of inquiry will investigate the matter and take “appropriate staff disciplinary action where warranted”.

Photo via Piku Bunneh / FB, Julia Yeo