The Wuhan coronavirus has so far claimed 80 lives in mainland China with over 2700 confirmed cases in the country. Singapore has so far reported four confirmed cases with no deaths. According to the Ministry of Health, there have been a total of 92 suspected cases of the virus in the island nation with 4 confirmed, 42 pending and 46 negative cases.
So if you are living in Singapore, how can you track the spread and the latest updates of the Wuhan coronavirus? The Ministry of Health has created a WhatsApp channel, which residents can subscribe to for the latest updates and clarifications.
Additionally, the MOH website is continually being updated with the latest developments.
Here are some of the latest updates from the MOH:
1. As the Wuhan virus situation in China continues to evolve, MOH advises travellers to defer all nonessential travel to Mainland China.
2. All staff working in the healthcare sector who have returned to Singapore from Mainland China should inform their institutions of their travel history and will be required to take a Leave of Absence (LOA) for 14 days upon their return.
3. In addition, they should monitor their health closely, and see a doctor promptly if they are unwell and inform their doctor of their travel history. If they have a fever or respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, runny nose), they should wear a mask and call the clinic ahead of the visit.
4. All healthcare institutions, including primary care providers, intermediate and long-term care (ILTC) institutions (e.g., nursing homes and eldercare centres), should put in place the following response measures: (i) To continue to maintain strict infection control practices (ii) To screen patients for fever and travel history based on the new case definition
5. Child Care Centres will re-open on 28 Jan 2020, while Kindergartens will re-open on 29 Jan 2020, as scheduled. The Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) will be stepping up precautionary measures for preschools to ensure the health and wellbeing of all children and staff in preschools, in view of the evolving Wuhan coronavirus situation in China.
6. To safeguard the health of all members of the preschool community, preschools are to implement a Leave of Absence (LOA) of 14 days for employees and preschool children returning from Mainland China –
a. on and from 28 January 2020,
b. as well as those who returned within the last 14 days (i.e. from 14 January to 27 January 2020).
7. Travellers and members of the public should adopt the following precautions at all times:
• Avoid contact with live animals including poultry and birds, and consumption of raw and undercooked meats;
• Avoid crowded places and 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 shortness of breath;
• 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.