The recent threat of an emerging epidemic has now received global attention. The 2019 Novel Coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV, is a new respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.
According to Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH), there have already been a total of seven (7) confirmed cases in the country as of January 27 (Monday). All confirmed cases thus far are Chinese nationals from Hubei, the ministry noted.
MoH Issues Add’l Measures to Minimize Spread of Virus in SG
In line with this, the MOH has issued a public advisory noting that there is an expected increase in confirmed cases arising from this group in Singapore. While there is currently no evidence of community spread here, this group poses a heightened risk to Singapore.
In response to these recent developments, the Multi-Ministry Taskforce announced yesterday that the Ministry of Health (MOH) is contacting all recent travelers from Hubei province who are in Singapore. The MOH estimates that about 2,000 such persons have arrived in Singapore in the last two weeks, of whom roughly 1,000 are on short-term visas.
To address this situation, the MOH will assess who among this group is at higher risk and will place them under quarantine.
Meanwhile, travelers and members of the public are encouraged to adopt the following precautions at all times:
- Avoid contact with live animals including poultry and birds, and consumption of raw and undercooked meats;
- Avoid crowded places and close contact with people who are unwell or showing symptoms of illness;
- Observe good personal hygiene;
- Practice frequent hand washing with soap (e.g. before handling food or eating, after going to the toilet, or when hands are dirtied by respiratory secretions after coughing or sneezing);
- Cover your mouth with a tissue paper when coughing or sneezing, and dispose of the soiled tissue paper in the rubbish bin immediately;
- Wear a mask if you have respiratory symptoms such as a cough or shortness of breath; and
- Seek medical attention promptly if you are feeling unwell.
To allay fears, the Health Ministry announced that there is so far no evidence of community spread in Singapore. However, there is international evidence of growing infection among Hubei residents and those who have visited the province.
Accordingly, the MOH urged Singapore residents to remain calm and to refer to official sources such as the MOH website or subscribe to the gov.sg WhatsApp, to get the latest updates on the situation.
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