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MOH confirms two more cases of the Wuhan virus in Singapore

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has just confirmed two more imported cases of the Wuhan virus into Singapore.

The second case, announced yesterday that it had tested preliminarily positive, has now be confirmed positive for the novel coronavirus. The 53-year-old female Chinese national from Wuhan arrived in Singapore with her family on 21 January.

She is currently warded in an isolation room at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) and her condition is stable, said MOM in a press release.

The third case is that of a 37-year-old male Chinese national, also from Wuhan. He is the son of the first confirmed case that MOH announced yesterday.

The 53-year old woman presented at Tan Tock Seng Hospital on 22 January with a fever and cough. She was classified as a suspected case and immediately isolated.

The woman reportedly said she was not presenting symptoms during the flight to Singapore on 21 January but later developed a fever and cough. She went to Raffled Hospital for treatment and was subsequently transferred to TTSH’s emergency department and later admitted to NCID for further assessment. She was diagnosed as having pneumonia and has been isolated since arriving at TTSH.

MOH noted that before being admitted, the woman stayed at J8 Hotel at 8 Townshend Road and has visited Orchard Road, Marina Bay Sands, and Gardens by the Bay. She had also used public transport, including MRT and taxies.

MOH has begun to track down anyone she might have had contact with.

The Ministry also noted that the risk of infection from transient contact, such as on public transport or in public places, is assessed to be low.

As for the 37-year-old man, he was identified as a close contact of the first confirmed case in Singapore. He was isolated as a suspected case on 23 January as he was showing symptoms. He tested positive for the coronavirus today around 1 pm.

Contact tracing and precautionary measures

MOH says it has also initiated epidemiological investigations and contact tracing to identify those who have had close contact with the man as well.

As of 23 January, MOH says it has identified 46 close contacts of the first confirmed case including the man mentioned above, though 24 have left Singapore. Another 16 are being quarantined while MOH makes effort to contact the remaining five.

MOH is closely monitoring the health of these contacts and will be placing them under quarantine for 14 days from their last exposure to the patient as a precautionary measure.

Additionally, all those identified to have a low risk of being infected will be under active surveillance and contacted daily to monitor their health status, said MOH.

The ministry if also placing measures in public hospitals to screen and manage suspected and confirmed cases.

Given the high volume of international travel to Singapore, MOH says it expects to see more suspect cases and imported cases. It urged the public to remain calm and vigilant, and to adopt good personal hygiene practices.

A total of 44 suspected cases have been notified to the MOH as of 12pm today, with 13 of them testing negative for the virus, and three (mentioned above) testing positive. Results for the remaining 28 cases are pending.

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