Singapore schools ask for holiday travel details as China virus spreads


Posted at Jan 24 2020 11:40 AM

Singapore schools ask for holiday travel details as China virus spreads 1
Officials monitor thermal scanners as passengers walk past upon arrival of a flight from Hangzhou, China at Changi Airport, Singapore, Jan. 22, 2020. Yiming Woo, Reuters

SINGAPORE -- Schools in Singapore, where the first case of a coronavirus was confirmed on Thursday, are asking parents and staff to provide details of travel during the Lunar New Year holidays as part of measures to fight the disease that has killed 25 people in China.

A 66-year old Chinese national was the first case of the virus in Singapore, while another has tested positive preliminarily, authorities said Thursday. The virus has infected more than 800 in China.

"In this phase of enhanced preparedness, our schools, including Ministry of Education Kindergartens, and Institutes of Higher Learning will take measures to ensure the safety and well-being of our students and staff," the education ministry told Reuters in an e-mail on Friday.

"Schools have instituted travel declarations for all students and staff," it added.

Parents in Singapore have started receiving e-mails from schools asking them to state where their children will be traveling for holidays. Many people have planned travel over the long weekend for the new year.

The ministry said there were no student trips planned currently to Hubei province, the epicenter of the virus. None are planned for China in February. It said it would advise educational institutes to postpone trips in March and later, if necessary.