Ministry of Education (MOE) has, in consultation
with the Ministry of Health (MOH), decided to raise
the cut-off oral temperature for screening at
schools to 37.8 degrees Celsius for pupils of ages
12 years and below.
in this age range who register an oral temperature
of 37.9 degrees Celsius and above would be asked to
see a doctor. Their parents will be contacted to
fetch them to the doctor.
interim temperature regime is adopted after the MOH
has reviewed preliminary temperature data of our
primary school pupils. Over the period 5 to 9 May
2003, about 450 Primary 1 to Primary 4 pupils
(0.23%) have persistently registered a temperature
above 37.5 degrees Celsius, even though they appear
to be well.
also well established that young children have a
slightly higher temperature than adults. In
addition, the body temperature may vary during the
course of the day.
have implemented the new temperature regime for
pupils who are 12 years old and below from today.
pupils above 12 years old, there is no change to the
cut-off temperature. Pupils registering oral
temperatures of 37.6 degrees Celsius and above will
not be allowed to remain in school, and will be
asked to seek medical attention.
this new temperature regime, there may still be a
very small group of pupils who register temperatures
above the age-appropriate cut-off temperature but
appear well. MOE and MOH will be discussing the
protocols to manage such pupils.
working with MOH to carry out further analyses of
the temperature data of pupils. The temperature
measurement regime employed by schools will be
further fine tuned if the results of these studies
show it necessary to do so.
urges parents to be mindful of their children's
well-being and not to send their children to school
if they are unwell. They should send them to a
doctor instead. They should return to school only
when they are well. MOE also seeks the co-operation
of parents whose children are sent home for
registering temperatures above the age-appropriate
remains an important part of our defence against
SARS. MOE is committed to have a tight ring-fence
around our schools. This will give assurance to all
parents that their children are in a healthy and
SARS-free environment while in school.
Ministry of Education Press Release 26 May 2003