Photo of Gan Kim Yong from The Straits Times

Despite founding out a total of 62 students and school staffs diagnosed with vomiting and diarrhoea at Oasis Primary School in Punggol, the Singapore government chose to cover up the matter from parents and the public. 2 patients were hospitalised for dehydration. Government agencies including the Ministry of Health, National Environment Agency, Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) and national water agency PUB were informed of the viral infection on Jan 7 but the announcement was made public only ten days later on Tuesday (Jan 17).

The Singapore government agencies however claimed that the infection is over, saying that there has been no new cases since Jan 14. In their press release, the government agencies have already completed site inspections and food and water sample testing for hygiene lapses on Jan 9.

A parent of a student whom the media interview expressed outrage at the government cover up:

“It was irresponsible for the school to hide this. No memo was given and parents were told just on Tuesday via a class messaging mobile app, while the bouts of vomiting and diarrhoea had already surfaced more than a week ago. Why were we not informed immediately?”

The Singapore government has an untold policy of covering up health hazard infection including the spread of the Zika virus last year. News that embarrasses the Prime Minister and the government are often covered up from the public in order to protect their reputation.

Read: Virus outbreak at SGH: 22 infected and 8 dead

Read: Zika virus hit Singapore, MOH confirmed 41 victims and cover up

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None of the ministers are fronting the announcement, and media enquiries have to go through the ministry’s spokesperson.