Responding to school closures in Hong Kong, Education Minister Ong Ye Kung blatantly lied with a straight face by saying that closure of schools will increase chances of infection:
“Some parents have called for schools to be closed amid the Covid-19 outbreak for the sake of safety, but doing so might not necessarily protect children from infection. This is because infections can happen at home, if there are family members who are exposed to the disease. Moreover, children might not stay at home all the time so the risk of infection is harder to mitigate when they mingle in public spaces.”
Minister Ong Ye Kung’s advice however goes against the World Health Organisation’s recommendations to avoid crowded places.
The PAP minister said Singapore schools are very clean and students will not get an infection:
“With regular cleaning and disinfection by our team of cleaners, we can actually keep the school environment very clean. In school, they are kept within this environment with a protocol, with teachers repeatedly reminding and bringing them to wash their hands, reminding them not to touch their face, making sure that those who come in with a fever or are not feeling well are asked to rest at home.”
Minister Ong Ye Kung said closing schools will lead to “sadness, despair and fear”:
“At the beginning we may feel safe, but as school continued to be close, after a while, normalcy is disrupted. Over a longer period of time with your life disrupted, it can give rise to sadness, despair, even a bit of fear.”
There are now 67 confirmed cases in Singapore, with 46 cases being locally infected. The Singapore government is unable to trace the source of infection, which the World Health Organisation labelled as “patient zero”.