New virus strain infecting children more: Singapore

WION Web Team
Singapore Published: May 17, 2021, 04:54 PM(IST)

Children walk home with their guardians after school in Singapore Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Singapore had last week delayed the quarantine-free travel bubble with Hong Kong set to start on May 26 amid rising COVID-19 cases.

Singapore government have announced new coronavirus curbs shutting down schools while warning that the new virus variant first found in India was affecting children.

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The country's education minister Chan Chun said that "mutations are much more virulent, and they seem to attack the younger children". The  education minister added that the government is working on a plan to vaccinate  students under the age of 16 

Singapore witnessed a surge in COVID-19 cases on Sunday with 38 cases which was the highest since last year which also included four children who were hit with the virus.

There were another 333 COVID-19 cases recorded on Monday putting authorities on high alert

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung added that B.1.617 stain affected children more. The country's authorities have decided to shut down primary and secondary schools including junior college amid the increasing virus cases.

Singapore had last week delayed the quarantine-free travel bubble with Hong Kong set to start on May 26 amid rising COVID-19 cases.

"We are also taking a step today to reduce group sizes from five to two and we call on everyone to stay home and only go out for essential activities," Lawrence Wong, co-chair of coronavirus taskforce had told citizens last week as residents rushed to buy essentials.

Singapore has recorded 61,000 coronavirus cases so far since last year along with 31 deaths, however, the recent cases have alerted officials as the authorities moved to limit public gatherings, closed gyms and stopped restaurant visits.

"We know that this is a very difficult period for everyone. This is clearly a setback in our fight against COVID-19. But we are resolved to keep fellow Singaporeans safe and to see Singapore safely through this crisis." Wong added.

The new measures which limit public gatherings will in force from May 16 till mid-June, authorities said with new assessments to be made every two weeks.

As the country draws up plans to vaccinate its young population, none of the children who have contracted the virus so far are seriously ill and a few of them have mild coronavirus symptoms, according to reports with outbreaks being linked to foreign worker dormitories last year.

The country has ensured a fifth of its population received two jabs with vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

The authorities are due to invite people under 45 years of age to receive their shots from the second half of May.
 

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