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VIRUS ALERT: 151 SARS cases reported here so far.

LATEST: 12 deaths

The WEATHER on MONDAY (14 Apr 2003): Showers with thunder in the afternoon and early evening over many areas.  WEATHER OUTLOOK:  TUESDAY & WEDNESDAY: Showers with thunder in the late morning and afternoon.     WATER TIDES (this month)  SUN Sunrise  7.01am    Sunset  7.10pm   MOON  Moonrise  5.07pm   Moonset  4.41am    PSI: 60 (moderate)   TEMPERATURE: 24-34 degrees Celsius (The weather is updated daily before 8am Singapore time) For more information, call Meteorological Service Singapore Tel: (65) 6542 7788.

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Monday with the Editor: School reopens for secondary students

Hallo everyone

Some 200,000 secondary school students across the island return to school today after a two-week break. Schools were closed on 27 March 2003 to contain the SARS outbreak here.

Just what is in store for these students when they walk past the school gates? Anxious to calm parents' fears of their children catching the SARS bug at school, the Ministry of Education (MOE) has been very busy behind the scenes taking steps to ensure the safety of all students at school. 

MOE has come up with an educational package to explain to students the importance of personal hygiene and social responsibility in curbing the spread of SARS. To monitor effectively the situation in schools, it has put into place post-school-reopening procedures for schools to follow. Schools here have also been disinfected before their reopening today. Classrooms will certainly smell of lysol - a disinfectant used in hospitals. The disinfecting of classrooms will be a daily routine.

Teachers have not been resting on their laurels either. They have been busy attending meetings and forming groups to process students even before these students go back to school. Over the past few days, teachers have been calling up the parents and guardians of these students to check whether the students are in good health. If a student is not feeling well, the parent/guardian is advised not to let the student come to school. Also, students who have travelled to index countries the past two weeks have been reminded to attend school only when the 10-day quarantine period has expired. Such checks prior to school reopening serve to reduce any risks to the rest of the school population. 

So when students walk through the school gates, they can expect to be screened by duty teachers who will be on the outlook for anyone who looks ill. If the teachers sight such students, they will lead them to an appointed area for the students' temperatures to be taken. And no one, except the students, will be allowed to go through the school gates. Those who have official business will have to fill in a declaration form and be screened before they can come in.

Students who have been found to have a fever during lesson time will be asked to go to a holding room set aside specially to monitor fever cases. In the room, both the student and teacher will adorn disposable masks. If the situation warrants it, the principal or vice-principal will call for an ambulance. So you see, the MOE is not leaving any stone unturned. And the students aren't the only ones being monitored. Their teachers' health will also be checked regularly by appointed fellow staff members and teachers will be asked to seek medical attention immediately if they feel unwell during school hours.

Assembly periods for the whole week have been postponed, save for that today. Today, principals will brief students on the SARS situation. Thereafter, these students will attend some programmes arranged by the MOE to educate them on personal hygiene and social responsibility. Recess periods have also been rescheduled. Most schools now have different recess times for each level of students so instead of the usual two recess periods - one for lower level & one for upper level - there are, perhaps, four recesses.

The rationale behind these steps is clear - to avoid situations in which large numbers of students congregate. Students are also not allowed to stay back after their school hours. In fact, CCA and enrichment classes have been postponed indefinitely on the orders of MOE. Some schools which have earlier agreed to participate in extra-school competitions have been prudent enough to back out of these events - their students' welfare comes first, not glory.

Schools do not expect 100 per cent attendance in the first few days of the week, but, with so many precautions in place, I am sure both parents and guardians will realise that their children are in good hands at school.

Headline News from The New York Times


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NEW WEB SITES  Be in control of your financial future, join our billion dollar industry as it explodes on the 7th April 2003, in Singapore.   Genuine ethical company with millions of satisfied customers from over 54 countries, extraordinary incomes may be earned. Free information and training over the internet, for your free information pack go to link is the 2003 National Day Parade's Web site, launched on 2 Apr 2003. This year's parade will take place at the National Stadium and feature a more spectacular light show, with the introduction of a giant, high-end projector.  is the Web site of the Sidek Clinic for Women run by Dr Saifuddin Sidek, an obstetrician and gynaecologist with about 20 years' experience practising in the eastern part of Singapore. Services include pregnancy checkups, delivery, abortion and sterilisation. Fees are within SMA guidelines and special circumstances will be considered.

Click New Web sites for the rest of the list.

Eye on Singapore

It's about people!

News & Happenings in Singapore

Singapore Tourism Board advisory on SARS

   Eye è City - Photography Exhibition & Book Launch

Defence Minister inaugurates Apache helicopter detachment in USA

National Day Parade 2003 Highlights

New obituaries section launched on this Web site

Mobile Lifestyle - new magazine in town  

Monday with the Editor: Lessons in life from SARS

Closure of schools extended

Japanese supermarket Meidi-Ya opens in Singapore

     3rd DBS Life! Theatre Awards

Cantopop superstar Leslie CHEUNG dies

Singapore History Museum to close for extensive redevelopment  

Monday with the Editor: SARS invades our lives

16th Singapore International Film Festival

Daimaru closes its doors in Singapore

WiLD RICE presents Invitation To Treat - the Eleanor Wong Trilogy

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Monday with the Editor: New killer virus causes atypical pneumonia


Singapore-Malaysia Updates

Private Clients: Get a Personal Assistant to do your errands in Singapore.

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Public Holidays GOOD FRIDAY is the next public holiday. It falls on 18 Apr 2003.


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14 April 2003

Monday's News


A survey of 1,072 expatriate business executives working in 12 Asian countries and territories has found Singapore to be the best prepared in Asia to deal with a major medical crisis such as Sars. The survey by Hongkong-based Political and Economic Risk Consultancy (Perc) ranked Japan, Hongkong in second and third position. "Respondents had the least confidence in Indonesia, followed by India, China and Vietnam," it added. (3)

The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) has extended the deadline for filing of income tax returns by phone or Internet to Friday 18 Apr 2003. Those filing by paper will have to deposit their returns in a post box before midnight tomorrow. (H6)


Kuala Lumpur: The number of new HIV/Aids cases transmitted through sexual contact in Malaysia increased by 46 per cent to 1,218 cases in 2002, compared to 834 cases in 2001. Drug users who used needles made up 76.3 per cent of all reported HIV infections in 2002. Until December 2002, there were 51,256 HIV infection cases reported to the Health Ministry. Of these, 7,218 were Aids cases while 5,424 had died of the disease. (A5)


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To assist you in tracing the above news articles in The Straits Times, we have provided the section and page numbers at the end of each news article. Therefore, (12): main section page 12; (S4): sports section page 4; (A10): asia section page 10; (L3): life section page 3.

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