Petition to ban travellers from China from entering Singapore has over 91,000 signatories

Signs at Change airport, 2015. (Image by Phuong D. Nguyen / Shutterstock)

A petition signed by online users to ban travellers from China from entering Singapore has garnered over 91,000 signatures (at the time of writing) and climbing, poised to reach its target of 150,000 signatures.

The petition, “Stop the Wuhan virus from entering Singapore” was started about two days ago by Anatasha Abdullah, around the same time as the other Singapore petition by Stacy Kim, “Ban Travellers From China Entering Singapore!” which now has about 11,400 signatories.

The petition maker, Ms Anatasha, wrote that Singapore is a small city which makes it even more vulnerable to the spread of this ‘epidemic’ throughout the country, adding that “we do not need to wait for severe cases before we take action”.

She continued, “In crucial times like this, our health and our loved ones’ health are what should be prioritized the most.

Yesterday, TOC reported on another petition, “Ban Travellers From China Entering Singapore!” which was created about two days ago calling for the government to ban travellers from China from entering Singapore, at least until a vaccine or cure is found for the recent outbreak of Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

The other petition is directed at the Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong and Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.

This one, on the other hand, is meant to be sent to the Prime Minister, Immigration and Checkpoint Authority of Singapore, Change Airport Group, PM’s wife Ho Ching, President Halimah Yacob, the MOH and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The virus, commonly known as the Wuhan virus, is spreading through China, forcing the country to quarantine several provinces. The virus has also been detected in other countries from the United States to Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Macau and Singapore.

Today (28 January), Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) announced that it has confirmed the fifth case of the Wuhan virus in Singapore. The fifth confirmed case is a 56 year-old female Chinese national from Wuhan who arrived in Singapore with her family on 18 January.  Test results for the remaining 57 suspected cases are pending.

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

A signatory of this petition, Ahmad Khalifa Johari, commented: “Singapore is just a small country. If the virus spread out, it can wipe out everybody. Keep Singapore safe”.

Others, like Jaime Wan and Sufyy Rahim, said that the lives and safety of Singaporeans are more important than profit and monetary contributions that people from China bring to the local economy.

Ian Ong shared that he is “not at all convinced” by China’s reassurance. He added, “Be[en] there and seen through their irresponsible behaviour during SARS. We are not rats or bats eaters and should not be made to shoulder their nonsense. I’ve lost confidence in them”.

The petition by Malaysians to bar Chinese travellers from entering their country has garnered over 390,000 signatories at the time of writing.

Originator of this petition, Muhammad Zaim Yusran Mohd Zaidy, wrote: “The new virus is widely spread throughout the world because of its unhygienic lifestyle… The government should think more about the health of Malaysians. Don’t wait until there is death among Malaysian people then only the government wants to take some preventive action.”

Malaysia also has four confirmed cases of the virus on its shores, all Chinese nationals from Wuhan who entered the country via Singapore. Three of the cases were identified as close contacts of the 66-year old man and his son in Singapore who were confirmed to be infected with the virus.

The fourth case is unrelated to the other three. He was part of a group of 17 tourists who entered Johor Baru by bus from Singapore on 22 January.

On Monday (27 January), the Malaysian government announced a halt of all immigration facilities, including issuing visas for travellers from Wuhan and areas around the Hubei province.

The Prime Minister’s Office said that the decision was made as a measure to contain the spread of the virus.

“The Malaysian government has followed World Health Organisation (WHO) procedures and got the advice of experts to face and handle the spread of this virus,” said the PMO.

Just two days before, Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that there would be no ban on Chinese travellers but that immigration authorities would be more stringent with their checks of travellers from China.

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