Singapore health officials announced on Thursday, January 23, that the Wuhan coronavirus is in the country, brought by a 66-year-old Chinese man from Wuhan, China.
According to reports, the sickness has infected hundreds and has already claimed seventeen people in China.
The Wuhan citizen arrived in Singapore with his family on January 20, and flew in from Guangzhou via China Southern flight CZ351.
He is stable and admitted in Singapore General Hospital. Other members of his family were cleared and have since gone on to their destinations.
How did he start showing Wuhan coronavirus symptoms?
According a report from Channel News Asia, the man had developed a sore throat on the flight to Singapore, and became feverish the next day.
While initially diagnosed with pneumonia, hospital officials notified the Ministry of Health immediately after they isolated and quarantined the man. They suspected that he was infected with the coronavirus on Wednesday, 10:00 pm.
The hunt is on for other passengers
Since the man has been diagnosed with the virus, MOH has started searching for 30 other people who were in proximity to the man while on the flight from China.
The health officials are looking to contact people who were seated two rows in front and two rows behind him.
The man was travelling with 8 other people, with his 37-year-old son being confined under suspicion of having the disease. The rest of his party were allowed to leave Singapore freely, and their destination countries were notified of the events that transpired.
The man had stayed at Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort and Spa before he was admitted to the hospital.
How bad is the Wuhan coronavirus situation in Singapore now?
As of publishing, there are 28 cases being monitored on suspected infections, with patients as young as one year old and as old as 78. Seven of these people have tested negative so far.
Another woman, a 53-year-old who had been initially tested and found to be positive for the coronavirus, is going through another round of tests to confirm the infection.
Measures to stop the spread of disease
Most probably learning from the SARS scare years ago, Singaporean officials have mobilized much quicker and in a more aggressive manner in combating the spread of disease.
Expanded border checks are in place, and a ministerial task force was created, things that weren’t immediately done during the SARS scare in 2003 which allowed one person to spread the disease over a wide area.
Schools required students to relay their Chinese New Year plans. Scoot canceled its daily flight to Wuhan, China, to get rid of that disease vector. Singaporean companies like ST Engineering who have operations in Wuhan also ceased all business trips to the infected area.
Other companies have provided face masks to their employees such as the case of CapitaLand. They also advised their employees to practice hygiene and be vigilant for the spread of disease and other symptoms.
Where did the Wuhan coronavirus come from?
According to online reports, a seafood marketplace in Wuhan had been completely shut down and quarantined. Wuhan is the largest city in central China and is home to 11 million people.
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