Singapore Confirms First Case Of Novel Coronavirus

Nikki De Guzman

A Chinese national from Wuhan who arrived in Singapore with his family on Monday, 20 January 2020 is Singapore’s first confirmed case of novel coronavirus in Singapore, the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced in a press release on Thursday (23 Jan).

First Confirmed Singapore Coronavirus Case

The 66-year-old man is currently warded in an isolation room at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) and his condition is stable, the health agency said.

MOH has also been notified today of a suspect case, who has tested preliminarily positive for the novel coronavirus—a 53-year-old female Chinese national from Wuhan.

The result of the confirmatory test is pending, and her condition is stable.

Both cases were immediately isolated upon presenting to the respective hospitals with clinical symptoms.

The first case is a man who is a resident of Wuhan

The patient, and his nine other companions, arrived in Singapore from Guangzhou via a China Southern flight at 10.40 pm on Monday. 

He reported that he had developed a sore throat but did not have fever during the flight to Singapore. However, he subsequently developed fever and cough on Tuesday (21 Jan).

singapore coronavirus

Changi Airport has installed temperature screening scanners for inbound travellers on all flights arriving from China on Wednesday (22 Jan). | Image: Facebook (Changi Airport)

He was admitted and isolated at SGH on Wednesday (22 Jan) for further assessment, in view of his clinical symptoms and recent travel history from Wuhan—the ground zero of the virus outbreak that has so far killed 17 people in China, and has spread to Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia and the United States.

The patient was diagnosed to have pneumonia upon admission and has been isolated since.

According to MOH, prior to hospital admission, the patient stayed at Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa in Sentosa and indicated that he had kept to the vicinity of the hotel. 

One of his travelling companions, a 37-year-old male Chinese national also from Wuhan, has also been warded as a suspect case.

“As a precautionary measure, [all close contacts] will be quarantined for 14 days from their last exposure to the patient. Those who develop symptoms will be brought to [the] hospital in a dedicated ambulance for further assessment. In addition, all other identified contacts who have a low risk of being infected will be under active surveillance and will be contacted daily to monitor their health status,” the MOH said.

Hospitals are geared up: MOH

“Our public hospitals are geared up to handle the situation, and have put in place precautionary measures to screen and manage suspect and confirmed cases,” said MOH. It also stated that it has reminded doctors and healthcare workers to be “highly vigilant, and maintain strict infection control and prevention measures.”

With the Chinese New Year holiday—dubbed as the world’s largest human migration—coming up, Singapore authorities expect a high volume of international travel to Singapore, and “more suspect cases and imported cases.”

Meanwhile, the government urges the public to remain calm and vigilant, and to adopt good personal hygiene practices.





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