Singapore's Ministry of Health (MOH) implemented new entry restrictions for travelers arriving from Daegu and Cheongdo county in South Korea on Tuesday, February 25, due to the rapid increase in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the region. All new visitors who have traveled to Daegu or Cheongdo within 14 days of their scheduled arrival to Singapore will not be allowed to enter or transit through. All returning residents and long-term pass holders with travel history to the impacted areas will be issued a 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN). The SHN requires individuals to remain home at all times, minimize contact with others, and keep a record of persons the individual comes into contact with. Additional information can be found on the MOH website here.
Similar entry restrictions remain in place for individuals arriving in Singapore who have traveled within mainland China in the 14 days prior to arrival. All new visitors, as well as travelers with previously-issued short-term and multiple-visit visas, will be denied entry into the country. Returning residents and long-term pass holders with travel history to mainland China within the past 14 days will be subjected to temperature screenings and, if necessary, be subject to medical assessment. Individuals may be placed in a quarantine facility or asked to take a 14-day mandatory leave of absence.
Singapore Airlines and SilkAir have announced reduced service across their networks between March and May 2020 due to lower demand. Affected customers will be notified and re-accommodated onto other flights. Further information can be found on the Singapore Airlines website here.
As of Wednesday, February 26, 91 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Singapore. The MOH’s Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) level remains at "orange" (the second highest on a four-tier scale). Further international spread of COVID-19 is expected in the coming days and weeks.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in more than 30 countries and territories worldwide. Virus screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On February 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the COVID-19 outbreak is a "very grave threat."
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
To reduce the general risk of transmission, individuals are advised to abide the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
- When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue - throw tissue away immediately and wash hands
- If you have fever, cough, and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider
- Adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments
In the case that symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness emerge either during or after travel, individuals are encouraged to seek medical attention and share their travel history with their health care provider. Travelers returning from China who develop symptoms of pneumonia are advised to call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to avoid potential spread of the disease.
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