Over 5,000 in Singapore sign petition to call for govt to ban travellers from China due concerns over Wuhan virus

Airport Departure Board Information at Changi International Airport in Singapore. Changi Airport serves more than 100 airlines operating 7,000 weekly flights. (Image by J. Lekavicius)

A petition, “Ban Travellers From China Entering Singapore!” that was created about a day ago, calls for the Singapore government to ban travellers from China from entering Singapore, at least till a vaccine or cure is found for the recent outbreak of Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), also known as the Wuhan virus, that is plaguing China and forcing the country to enforce a lockdown on various provinces.

In countries like Hong Kong, Japan, Vietnam, South Korean, France, Thailand, the US, Macau and Singapore, the cases of c2019-nCoV have been identified.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) earlier announced on Sunday of the fourth confirmed case of the Wuhan virus in Singapore. Fortunately, no new case has been reported by MOH.

Singapore has also enforced 14 days of compulsory leave of absence for those who have visited China upon their arrival back to the country.

The petition creator, Stacy Kim, wrote:

“The Singapore Government must act now to ban travellers from any parts of China from reaching the shores of Singapore by any means of transportation. At least until an anti-vaccine or cure is found.

It is imperative that the Government be steadfast with protecting its people and assets before it is too late. The current preventive measures (taking temperature) are insufficient as not everyone infected with the Corona virus displays signs of fever.

We should not be wasting time and resources, preparing to fire fight when we can still act to prevent the fire. I urge everyone who read this petition to sign and share.”

A signatory, Mikail Sameer Raif Mikail Sameer Raif wrote: “I wonder what the government is doing if we have to start petitions like this for our own safety. Wth are they doing?”

Another, Terence Lim wrote: “Err on the side of caution, don’t wait till someone in SG dies from it. Relations with China can be repaired, money from lost tourism revenue can be recouped, the dead can never be resurrected.”

The petition is meant to be sent to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong and Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.

The Philippines government had repatriated 500 Chinese tourists who came from Wuhan back to its home country on last Friday.

At the news of the outbreak, all foreign visitors had been banned from entering the country by North Korea.

Malaysia which reported its fourth case of the virus, also had citizens signing petition to ban Chinese nationals from the country. The petition has reached 380,000 in total number of signatories.

MalaysiaN Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad reportedly said there would be no ban but the authorities would be rigorously checking travellers, especially those from China, to ensure that they are not carrying the virus.

Minister Gan Kim Yong who heads the Singapore’s multi-ministry task force which was set up to combat the disease, said at the press conference on Monday (27 Jan) that the government would go all out to ensure the safety of fellow Singaporeans.

Measures to curb the spread of the virus, such as enhanced travel advisories and border controls, as well as temperature monitoring are said to have been bolstered progressively

Mr Gan remarked that doctors were on high alert and that community spread of the disease is not in the picture currently.

“The situation is rapidly evolving..We will institute more measures if necessary,” he further added.

 

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