Confirmed imported case of novel coronavirus

by | January 23, 2020

Ministry of Health emphasises that the public adopt good hygiene practices.

With now a confirmed imported case of novel coronavirus infection in Singapore, the Ministry of Health (MOH) is recommending that Singaporeans avoid travel to the whole of Hubei Province, in view of the travel restrictions that China has imposed on Huanggang and Ezhou. MOH also advises Singaporeans to continue to exercise caution and attention to personal hygiene when travelling to the rest of China.

The confirmed imported case is of a 66-year-old male Chinese from Wuhan who arrived in Singapore with his family. There is also a suspect case of a 53-year-old female Chinese national from Wuhan. MOH has initiated contact tracing and one of the travelling companions of the imported case has also been warded as a suspect case. All three individuals are in stable condition.

Given the high volume of international travel to Singapore, MOH expects to see more suspect cases and imported cases. “We urge the public to remain calm and vigilant, and to adopt good personal hygiene practices,” it said.

It advised that all travellers should monitor their health closely for two weeks upon return to Singapore and seek medical attention promptly if they feel unwell, and also inform their doctor of their travel history. If they have a fever or respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, shortness of breath), they should wear a mask and call the clinic ahead of the visit.

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.


** According to The Guardian, the term “novel coronavirus” means that it is a member of the coronavirus family that has never been encountered before. Others in the family of viruses include the common cold, and viruses such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

(** PHOTO CREDIT: World Health Organization)




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