COVID-19: Mother of children attending preschool at Trinity Paya Lebar church infected – pastor

Wong Casandra
Senior Reporter
The Raffles House Preschool branch at Paya Lebar is located inside Trinity Christian Centre. (Screenshot: Google Maps)

SINGAPORE — A senior pastor at a church in Paya Lebar revealed in an online notice on Wednesday (19 February) that a case of the novel coronavirus was confirmed at a preschool located within its premises.

The notice, signed off by Trinity Christian Centre’s senior pastor Dominic Yeo, said that the case, a mother of two children attending the Raffles House Preschool branch at 247 Paya Lebar Road, had been confirmed by the Ministry of Health (MOH).

“COVID-19 has hit close to home – at Raffles House@Paya Lebar located at Trinity@Paya Lebar,” wrote Yeo in the notice addressed to church members and hosted on its official website. The preschool is located on the second floor of the church’s premises.

According to Yeo, the unidentified parent last visited the preschool on 12 February and did not display any symptoms.

Her two children, who last attended school on Monday, are well and now serving a 14-day home quarantine order.

“Both parent and children do not attend Trinity,” Yeo added.

According to the senior pastor, the school had on Wednesday cleaned and disinfected its premises and common areas.

“Our weekend services, including DiscoveryLand and Nursery, will continue running with increased monitoring, cleaning, and disinfection measures,” he added.

“On your part, do exercise social responsibility by maintaining good personal hygiene. If you are unwell, see a doctor immediately, stay at home and join our weekend services via Facebook Live.”

According to a separate short message service (SMS) allegedly sent on Wednesday morning by Raffles House and seen by Yahoo News Singapore, the mother had briefly stepped into the reception area to pass an item and left the school at around 4pm on 12 February.

“(The two children) were observed to be well when they were at the centre on 17 February and are well at home. We are maintaining close contact with the family and checking on the health of the two children,” said the SMS signed off by a Ms Sabrina.

The message, addressing parents of the school, added that it will remain open as well as continue to monitor the temperatures of the children and staff thrice daily.

“Students are encouraged to remain at home when feeling unwell. We will continue to update you as the situation develops,” it added.

“We assure all parents that we will continue to put in place measures to ensure the health and wellbeing of all children and staff. We look forward for (sic) your continued support and we wish the affected family well and will provide every support and guidance during this period.”

To date, Singapore, tied with Japan, has a total of 84 confirmed cases of the virus, making it one of two territories with the second-highest number of patients beyond mainland China.

Three new cases were announced by the MOH on Wednesday night, but it remains unclear whether the parent associated with the preschool was among them.

Yahoo News Singapore has reached out to the school and the MOH for comment.

Trinity Christian Centre is the seventh church here with links to the virus, including two that have been identified as clusters, as well as Bethany Presbyterian Church, Paya Lebar Methodist Church, God’s Kingdom Bread of Life Church and Church of Christ the King where previous cases have visited.

At least six cases, including a married couple from Wuhan, are linked to The Life Church and Missions Singapore cluster in Paya Lebar. 22 are linked to Grace Assembly of God church at both branches in Tanglin and Bukit Batok – the biggest such cluster here thus far.

Last Friday, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore announced that it will be indefinitely suspending all public masses and urged its congregation to turn to online alternatives.

Other churches, including mega-church City Harvest Church, have also cancelled public services and started streaming them online.

The virus has left more than 2,000 people in China dead and sickened over 75,000 globally. Four territories – Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, and France – have each reported the death of a patient infected with the virus. Hong Kong announced its second death on Wednesday.

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