Singapore—The Ministry of Health (MOH) has said that the government of Singapore will be paying for all local cases of suspected and confirmed Wuhan coronavirus.
This applies to both residents and visitors to the country, since the virus is still an emerging disease.
Aside from footing hospital bills, the Government will also extend an allowance of S$100 per day to individuals who are under quarantine due to suspected Wuhan coronavirus infection from recent travels or those who have been in close proximity with those who have been tested positive for the virus.
The amount will be given directly to individuals who are self-employed, or to the firms for those who are employed outside their homes. Absences during the time of quarantine will not be considered as part of an employees annual leave.
Other means of assistance such as buying groceries will also be extended to people under quarantine who live by themselves.
According to the co-chairman of the multi-ministry task force taking charge of tackling issues related to the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, the giving of the quarantine allowance is not something new, but was done during the SARS outbreak in 2003.
In a Facebook post Mr Wong wrote, “It is regrettable that some people are circulating falsehoods on this. Quarantine allowance is not new. We did it for SARS too. It’s given to Singapore-based employers to cover their employees under quarantine and to self-employed Singaporeans/PRs under quarantine. It’s not given to tourists who are quarantined. Our whole point is to help Singaporeans. Please help to share this and correct any misperceptions or falsehoods out there.”
In its latest update on January 30, MOH confirmed that there have been three additional cases of the Wuhan coronavirus identified in Singapore, making a total of 13 cases.
It assured the public, however, that there is no proof of community spread in the country.
The three new patients are all female Wuhan residents, with the eleventh and twelve cases being 31-year-old women who arrived in Singapore on January 22.
The most recent confirmed case in the country is also the oldest one—a 73-year-old woman who arrived in Singapore on January 21.
The 31-year-old patient had travelled with and is a close contact of the fourth confirmed case in Singapore, and is now under isolation at the at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID).
The woman began showing symptoms on January 27 (Monday) and tested positive for the Wuhan coronavirus infection shortly before midnight on January 29.
The twelfth confirmed case is also under isolation at NCID. She became ill on January 26 and was admitted to Tan Tock Seng Hospital three days later. She also tested positive for the Wuhan coronavirus infection shortly before midnight on January 29.
The 37-year-old woman had stayed at at Village Hotel Sentosa (10 Artillery Avenue), Hotel 81 Princess (21 Lorong 12 Geylang) and Home Suite View Hotel (12 Lorong 12 Geylang) before she went to hospital, and visited Orchard Road and Geylang via taxi.
The MOH release, however, says “The risk of infection from transient contact, such as on public transport or in public places, is assessed to be low.”
Patient number 13 tested positive for the Wuhan coronavirus on the afternoon of January 30. She is also in isolation at NCID, and is in stable condition.
None of the 13 Wuhan coronavirus patients in Singapore is critically ill. People who have been in close contact with the patients have been contacted by the MOH and have been put under quarantine for 14 days. -/TISG
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