But the education minister remains adamant that there is no need for blanket closures The number of Hong Kong schools and kindergartens closed due to the pneumonia scare rose to 100 yesterday. Most of the schools are in Sha Tin, Kowloon City, the Eastern District and Wong Tai Sin. Pressure for the government to close all schools remains strong, but Education Minister Arthur Li Kwok-cheung remained adamant it was not necessary, even though Singapore - where just one person has died from the virus - announced the closure of all its schools until next month. Insisting that the disease was a problem with the community - not schools - Professor Li said: 'I would win lots of applause from the public by closing schools. But you have to look at the overall picture. 'Only eight of the one million school pupils have been infected so far. Issues such as what should students do if schools are closed and how to look after those whose father and mother both work at daytime need to be sorted out. 'Not a single case has been infected inside schools.' The Sha Tin District Council and the Sha Tin Principals' Association called on the government to suspend all classes at primary schools and kindergartens in the district for a week. 'Although an increasing number of parents are pulling their kids away from schools, many principals are worried about closing their schools because they would have to shoulder all the responsibility for making the decision,' said council chairman Wai Kwok-hung. Cheng Cho-chak, vice-chairman of the Sha Tin Secondary School Principals' Association and principal of Baptist Lui Ming Choi Secondary School, said he was dissatisfied with remarks by Professor Li and Principal Assistant Secretary for Education and Manpower Ma Siu-leung. 'Their tough stance put us in a difficult position. They failed to appreciate the difficulties faced by frontline educators,'' he said. Mr Cheng's school is one of six in Sha Tin that has decided to suspend classes. Association of Sha Tin School Heads chairman Ho Kuen-fai said they were puzzled by the government's inconsistent stance on schools that opted to suspend classes. 'When Baptist Sha Tin Wai Lui Ming Choi Primary School announced last week it planned to suspend classes this week, the Education and Manpower Bureau said the schools had the discretion to make such a decision,'' he said. 'Why did the bureau toughen their stance on us?'' Yau Oi-yuen, the principal of Pui Ying College, another of the Sha Tin schools to close for two days from today, said Professor Li should have shown more understanding of their difficulties. Anthony Tong Kai-hong, the principal of Sheng Kung Hui Secondary School, which will also suspend classes from today, said the move would allow staff to clean the campus thoroughly. Some international schools have closed as well. The Kingston International Primary School will close until April 3. Principal Lisa Belfry said the government had dragged its feet in tackling the pneumonia problem. The American International School in Kowloon Tong closed yesterday and will not reopen until after the Easter break because of parents' concerns about the disease. But a spokesman for the English Schools Foundation said no ESF school would close unless a pupil or staff member developed symptoms of the disease or the government directed them to do so.