Singapore's parliamentary secretary for community development, youth and sports and national development, Maliki Osman, urged local childcare centers to maintain good hygiene practices when he visited the Adelfibel Infant and Child Development Center on Monday.
"Given the number of serious cases of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) in our neighboring countries and the virulent strain of the virus that has re-surfaced this year, it is important that our childcare centers enforce proper hygiene and prevention practices, so as to reduce the risk of the disease," he was quoted as saying by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) in its press release.
The MCYS said that it will work with the Ministry of Health and the National Environment Agency to hold a health briefing for all childcare center operators and supervisors next Tuesday on the management in an outbreak of infectious diseases and the MCYS' standard operational procedures for childcare centers in the management and control of HFMD.
The ministry added that it has repeatedly reminded childcare centers and parents to remain vigilant against any infectious diseases including the HFMD, which is most likely to affect young children, especially those under five years old.
A total of 2,017 HFMD cases have been reported in Singapore this year as of March 19 with the average weekly number of cases rising to 331 in March from 174 in February.
Some 75 percent of the cases tested positive for Enterovirus 71 (EV71), a dangerous virus which can cause complications involving human being's heart and brain, and result in death.