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    Oct 13, 2016

    Two Punggol childcare centres hit by gastroenteritis cases

    TWO childcare centres in Punggol were struck by gastroenteritis last month.

    One of the centres at Block 192, Punggol Central, told The New Paper that five out of 80 children, and five to 10 of its 25 staff, came down with the illness in the past few weeks.

    The centre also said that it was not normal for it to have so many cases, especially since it involved teachers as well.

    Most of the staff fell sick over the weekend so the facility was not short-handed the following week, it added.

    The other affected centre at Block 175D, Punggol Field, declined to comment when contacted.

    Both centres are operated by Bright Kids Childcare.

    TNP contacted 36 other pre-schools and kindergartens in Singapore. A total of 33 centres said they were unaffected, while three centres declined to comment.

    NTUC First Campus Co-operative said none of its centres was affected.

    When The New Paper visited Bright Kids at Block 175D last Wednesday, four parents confirmed that there were cases of gastroenteritis.

    They said a letter was given out by the centre about a month ago.

    One parent, who wanted to be known as Madam Farizah, 39, told TNP the letter stated that there were 10 to 15 cases of gastroenteritis and the centre was monitoring the situation.

    In the letter, parents were also told to pick their child up immediately once they had been informed that the child was unwell.

    Madam Farizah, whose six-year-old son was affected, said: "He fell sick for a day about three Fridays ago.

    "He had a stomach ache and high fever.

    "He was very weak."

    Madam Farizah, who works in the retail industry, said: "It was quite disruptive for a working parent like me.

    "This incident also led to my husband falling sick about two days later."

    A parent, who wanted to be known as Mr Tan, told TNP that his four-year-old daughter fell ill two weeks ago.

    Another parent, who declined to be named, said his daughter was ill even before the letter was given out.

    He added: "But the centre was quite prompt to respond to the situation, they cleaned the centre up right after that."