Singapore —A hospital in Malaysia issued an apology on Wednesday (Feb 5) for unwittingly having offended people with a poster it had put up.
KPJ Rawang Hospital’s poster had asked its “Valued Customers” to let the hospital know if they had been to China, Wuhan, Singapore, or Sabah or had close contact with individuals positive for the novel coronavirus in the last two weeks.
It listed below a number of symptoms people should be aware of, such as, “High Fever (More than 38 Degree Celcius), Flu, Cough, Breathlessness, Fatigue.”
This was done to presumably prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which originated in Wuhan, a city in central China, late last year, and has since gone on to infect over 28,000 people all over the world.
But the poster did not go over well with people from Singapore and Sabah, who did not seem too keen on being put in the same category as Wuhan, which is by far where most of the cases are from.
The apology from the hospital read, “KPJ Rawang Specialist Hospital takes note of all parties’ feedback on the poster snapshot. We deeply regret and apologize for this oversight. Please rest assured there was no intention of offending any Individual or State or Country. We have taken corrective action to remove the poster immediately.”
A photo of the poster had made the rounds on Singapore’s social media, including Facebook page All Singapore Stuff, with hundreds of netizens commenting on it.
FB screengrab: All Singapore Stuff
The caption on the photo read, “Wah, our neighbour already asking about travel history to SG. If they get more paranoid, will affect our weekend JB shoppers or not?”
Singapore has one of the highest numbers of people infected with 2019-nCoV outside of China, with 28 confirmed cases as of February 5 (Wednesday). Japan is the only other country with a higher number of cases, now at 33.
Three people positive for the virus—one Malaysian and two South Koreans—had gotten infected in Singapore. The Malaysian had attended a meeting at the Grand Hyatt Hotel that also had Chinese nationals as participants, along with the two South Koreans.
India, which announced it was screening all passengers from China and Hong Kong last week, screened passengers from Singapore and Thailand this week as well, in order to prevent further spread of the virus.
India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation said in a tweet on February 2, “In accordance with the instructions from @MoHFW_INDIA, the process of universal thermal screening is being expanded to cover flights coming from Thailand & Singapore as well, in addition to China & Hong Kong. MoCA is extending every possible support to ensure compliance.”
India’s shared border with China, as well as its large population of 1.33 billion, has caused its government to put certain measures in place in order to prevent an outbreak in the country, including declaring Kerala to be a “state calamity” to give it better access to resources for addressing the issue.
As the virus continues to spread, it is perhaps not surprising that more and more precautions are being taken to prevent further outbreak. -/TISG
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