6,000 pre-school staff completed COVID-19 swab tests over the weekend

Esther Lam

Published: 18 May 2020, 5:50 PM

From May 16 to 26, all pre-school staff will be taking a one-time swab test before pre-schools services can resume.

Last weekend, more than 6,000 pre-school staff took precautionary tests for COVID-19. By May 26, all pre-school and early intervention staff will have undergone the one-time swab test as part of precautionary measures before the reopening of pre-schools.

Minister Ong Ye Kung recently visited Temasek Polytechnic, one of several MOE sites that are hosting COVID-19 swab tests for pre-school teachers and staff.

He wrote about his visit in a Facebook post on Sunday (May 17): “Everyone was calm and cooperative, and nurses told me that the test is not that uncomfortable if you breathe slowly and calmly. I asked a group which had completed the test if it was better or worse than what they expected, and all showed me the thumbs up.”

He also mentioned that each station is able to test around 30 staff per hour – or about two minutes per test – and that “operations were functioning like clockwork”. Minister Ong Ye Kung thanked the pre-school staff for undergoing the discomfort of swab tests and the healthcare team for carrying out the testing.

He shared that it is a good precaution for them to take due to their close contact with young children. He added that these test results would provide reassurance to the staff, their families as well as the parents of the pre-school children.


Pre-school and early intervention staff going through COVID-19 tests across the sports hall. PHOTO CREDIT: ONG YE KUNG’S FACEBOOK


Last week, the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) announced that all pre-school staff will have to take the one-time swab test between May 16 to May 26 before pre-school centres can resume service.

This comprises an estimated 30,000 staff members, including teachers, principals, programmes and administrative staff, cooks and cleaners. All pre-school staff will be tested by the Health Promotion Board (HPB) at swabbing centres located in polytechnics.

Facebook user Ambigai Das, a pre-school staff who went through the test on Sunday (May 17), said: “Just completed mine today. Left home at 2pm and was back home by 3:15pm. Super efficient and quick process. No waiting around for long.

“Thank you to all the healthcare workers, ushers and bus drivers for making this quick process possible on a Sunday afternoon.”

Another Facebook user, Genie Sugene Gan, said: “It’s great to know that our preschool educators and staff, who play such important roles in early childhood education, can still remain upbeat despite the inconveniences and discomfort.”

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