Despite having no conclusion that all staff members and children at a PAP pre-school in Clementi are cleared of tuberculosis, Minister for Social and Family Development (MSF) Tan Chuan Jin said the school is still safe:
“There is no need to close the pre-school in Clementi where a staff member was found to have tuberculosis (TB).”
As of Monday (20 Mar), the PAP Sparkletots pre-school in Clementi had 21 pending after a tuberculosis health screening on 66 staff members and children. The PAP Minister who has only been an army officer in his entire life and never had medical training, said that TB is not contagious like hand, foot and mouth disease:
“TB is different from other diseases such as the hand, foot and mouth disease which is contagious and requires pre-schools to be closed in some cases. TB is contracted only after prolonged exposure to infected patients. It cannot be passed through objects or surfaces touched by the patient. The staff member who had active TB was immediately put on medical leave on March 3 after being diagnosed. Whatever measures that need to be taken will be taken, so I’d like to assure parents and staff that this situation is under control and we’re managing it actively.”
However, the Minister left out saying that the children are still likely to contract latent TB.
The spread of disinformation and fake news warrant a criminal charge in Singapore, but it appears Minister Tan Chuan Jin is immune to the law.
Parents of children also told state media Straits Times that they are angry the government covered up the incident and delayed informing them of the TB risk at the pre-school. Parents were informed only a week later on March 10 when the government actually contacted the school on March 3.