Singapore—Starting Jan 3, the Ministry of Health (MOH) will be conducting temperature checks for passengers arriving at Changi Airport from Wuhan, China after the mysterious series of severe pneumonia cases in the country.
Chinese state media confirmed cases of patients infected with “unexplained pneumonia” but said that there was reportedly no “apparent human to-human transmission.”
There have been 27 reported cases of the viral pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan. Most of the patients worked in the seafood market as reported by CBS News.
The MOH alerted medical practitioners to be on the lookout for suspected cases especially from travellers originating from Wuhan.
The Ministry said that travellers showing symptoms will be quarantined as an added precautionary measure.
“Suspect cases with fever and acute respiratory illness or pneumonia and with travel history to Wuhan within 14 days before onset of symptoms will be isolated as a precautionary measure to prevent transmission.,” the MOH announced in a Facebook post.
The public are also urged to follow safety measures as well:
- Avoid contact with live animals including poultry and birds, and consumption of raw and under cooked meats;
- Avoid close contact with people who are unwell or showing symptoms of illness;
- Observe good personal hygiene;
- Practise frequent hand washing with soap (e.g. before handling food or eating, after going to toilet, or when hands are dirtied by respiratory secretions after coughing or sneezing);
- Wear a mask if you have respiratory symptoms such as a cough or runny nose;
- Cover your mouth with a tissue paper when coughing or sneezing, and dispose the soiled tissue paper in the rubbish bin immediately; and
- Seek medical attention promptly if you are feeling unwell.
The Wuhan pneumonia cases are suspected to be linked to the 2003 SARS outbreak which infected 8,098 people in 26 countries. The SARS virus started in Guangdong province in southern China and was thought to originate from a bat virus that spread to other animals such as cats which then infected humans.
SARS had flu-like symptoms which include fever, muscle pain, headache, diarrhea, and shivering.
According to a report by CNA, Singapore had 283 cases of SARS infections in which 33 people died in 2003.
The Ministry assured the public that it has not been notified of “any suspected cases” of the current outbreak in Singapore./TISG