Singapore's Ministry of Health (MOH) has issued a Public Health Travel Advisory advising travellers to avoid non-essential travel to Wuhan in light of the novel coronavirus that has plagued the capital of Hubei.
"Given the evolving situation and ongoing investigations in China, Singapore residents who need to travel to the affected areas are advised to regularly check MOH’s website for updates. Travellers to China are also advised to stay vigilant, monitor developments and heed the advice of the local Chinese authorities while in China."
Hygiene tips for travellers
Travellers were also reminded to exercise caution and attention to public hygiene when travelling to the rest of China.
- Avoiding contact with live animals including poultry and birds, and consumption of raw and undercooked meats
- Avoiding crowded places and close contact with people who are unwell or showing symptoms of illness
- Observing good personal hygiene
- Practising 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)
- Wearing a mask if one has respiratory symptoms such as a cough or runny nose
- Covering one's mouth with a tissue paper when coughing or sneezing, and disposing the soiled tissue paper in the rubbish bin immediately
- Seeking medical attention promptly if one is feeling unwell.
"All travellers should monitor their health closely for two weeks upon return to Singapore and seek medical attention promptly if they feel unwell, and also inform their doctor of their travel history," said the ministry.
Those with a fever or respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, runny nose) should wear a mask and call the clinic ahead of the visit.
Temperature screening set up, health notices issued to travellers
MOH added that it has put in place "precautionary measures to reduce the risk of importation of the virus to Singapore".
Persons with pneumonia and travel history to China within 14 days before the onset of symptoms or persons with respiratory infections who had been to any hospital in China within 14 days before the onset of symptoms are considered suspect cases.
"These cases will be isolated in hospital as a precautionary measure to prevent transmission," said MOH.
Since Jan. 22, temperature screening at Changi Airport has also been expanded to all inbound travellers on flights arriving from China. Health Advisory Notices are also issued to all travellers arriving at Changi Airport from China.
While there has been no confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Singapore, MOH said that it expects to see more suspect cases and imported cases as Singapore is a travel hub.
"Once a case is confirmed, contact tracing will be initiated, and we will implement strict isolation, quarantine, and infection control and prevention measures to prevent further transmission," said the ministry.
Top image via Reuters.