SINGAPORE — Tourist attractions in Singapore are taking precautionary measures to guard against the spread of the coronavirus as the republic confirmed ten cases of the new strain, all of whom are Chinese nationals from the central Chinese city of Wuhan. At least 18 countries outside of China have reported cases of infection since the outbreak began in Wuhan earlier this month.
Resorts World Sentosa (RWS), which manages major tourist attractions on the island resort of Sentosa, said in response to queries from Yahoo Lifestyle SEA, “Thermal scanners to carry out temperature screening have been deployed at the entry points of our casino and attractions. We have increased the frequency of cleaning, disinfection and sanitisation across the resort. Hand sanitisers are available at visitor touchpoints for the convenience of guests.”
RWS added, “We have also proactively reached out to guests, reminding them to observe personal hygiene and pay attention to any respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough or runny nose. Hotel guests feeling unwell are advised to remain in the room, avoid physical contact with others and contact the front desk immediately for assistance. Our frontline employees are on standby to attend to any guests who are unwell and arrange for them to seek medical attention.”
(Update as of 19 March 2020: RWS has further enhanced its cleaning, disinfection and sanitising procedures, and introduced social distancing measures like limiting visitor loads, spacing out people in ride queues, reducing face-to-face meetings among employees, social distancing at staff cafeterias and split-team working arrangements.)
Attractions managed by RWS include the Universal Studios Singapore theme park, S.E.A. Aquarium and Resorts World Sentosa casino.
Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS), which manages animal attractions including Singapore Zoo and Night Safari, told Yahoo Lifestyle SEA, “WRS is following all actions recommended by the Singapore authorities and has in place a Pandemic Response Plan which includes taking necessary preparatory actions for the safety of our guests and staff. These include increasing the frequency of disinfection in high traffic areas such as ticketing points and park entrances, providing hand sanitisers at various locations and placing reminders to maintain good personal hygiene at all times. Our staff have been briefed to look out for and assist members of public who may feel unwell or exhibit flu-like symptoms.”
WRS added that the public health advisory cautioning people to avoid contact with live animals is targeted at outbound travellers from Singapore, and it is safe for visitors to share spaces with the animals at its attractions.
“The virus is suspected to have originated from a wet market in mainland China and not here in Singapore,” said the WRS spokesperson. “In such markets, live animals are known to be kept and sold under stressful conditions. The health status and origins of such live animals are also unknown as they are likely to have been taken from the wild. In contrast, animals in zoological institutions like ours live in vastly different conditions where they enjoy good and positive welfare, screening for diseases and state-of-the art veterinary care. We are therefore confident that they are safe for our guests and staff to share spaces with.”
Both RWS and WRS said they were closely monitoring the situation. Symptoms of the coronavirus, which causes the COVID-19 disease, include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and pneumonia in severe cases.
Click here for stories on the developing COVID-19 pandemic: sg.news.yahoo.com/health