With Taiwan and the United States reporting confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus pneumonia originating from Wuhan, Singapore is stepping up on its measures to reduce the risk of importation of the virus to the island nation. The virus has so far infected as many as 440 people and killed 9 in China.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a press statement that given the high volume of international travel to Singapore, more suspected cases and possibly imported cases are expected.
China has also confirmed on Monday that the coronavirus, also known as the Wuhan virus, can spread from human to human.
To date, MOH isolated only suspected cases with fever and pneumonia and with a travel history to Wuhan within 14 days before onset of symptoms.
From today, the authorities are widening the definition of suspect cases to include persons with pneumonia and travel history to China within 14 days before onset of symptoms; or acute respiratory infection who had been to any hospital in China, within 14 days before onset of symptoms.
These cases will be isolated in hospital as a precautionary measure to prevent transmission, MOH said.
Temperature screening at Changi Airport will also be expanded to all inbound travellers on flights arriving from China. Suspected cases will be referred to hospitals for further assessment.
Meanwhile in India, the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation has asked seven major airports (Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Cochin) to install equipment to screen people arriving from China.
Air passengers arriving from China are also being asked to fill up "self-reporting forms" before disembarking at these airports.