Singapore said that children are likely more susceptible to coronavirus variants such as the B.1.617, which was first detected in India as it’s returning to the lockdown condition, shutting most schools starting this week and working on plans to vaccinate the young ones.
As of Sunday, May 16, Singapore has reported 38 cases bringing a total of 193 domestic cases this month which is higher than the 55 infections in April and nine in March. Many of those confirmed new cases in recent weeks tested positive for the India variant or B.1.617.
All primary, secondary and junior colleges will shift to full home-based learning from Wednesday, May 19 until the end of the school term on May 28.
“Some of these [virus] mutations are much more virulent, and they seem to attack the younger children,” said Education Minister Chan Chun Sing.
Though Singapore’s daily cases remain a fraction of those reported by its Southeast Asian neighbors, infections have been on the rise in recent weeks.
However, the pace of vaccine supply arrivals limits the speed of their inoculation program.
According to the Health Minister Ong Ye Kung, their experts are studying the possibility of extending the interval between the first and second doses of Covid-19 vaccines so that it can vaccinate more people with its available supply amid rising infection numbers.
More than one-fifth of the country’s population has completed the two-dose vaccination regimen using Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.