According to a report by the StraitsTimes, a spokesman for the Ministry of Transport (MOT) had confirmed that eighteen Singaporeans and ten cabin crew members have safely returned to Singapore from the Chinese city of Hangzhou on a Scoot relief flight.

In a press release, the MOT spokesperson affirmed that Singapore’s budget airline, Scoot’s relief flight TR5001 had departed Singapore at noon on Sunday and departed Hangzhou at 8.28pm Hangzhou time. The passengers comprised of a previous batch of passengers who boarded Scoot flight TR188 to Hangzhou last Friday.

On return, the passengers underwent rigorous medical checks at the Changi Airport and were found not to exhibit symptoms of the worrisome virus. The spokesman said that the health status of the whole group is being monitored closely.

However, as a precautionary step, fifteen people who were said to be in close contact of two infected persons in the same flight to China, were given orders to be quarantined. The rest are on active surveillance.

In the event that symptoms of the virus develop, the infected people would be transported to the local hospital for further assessments.

The spokesman further explained that to expedite the safe return of the Singaporeans, MOT, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore have worked closely alongside Scoot, Changi Airport Group, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, Raffles Medical Group and the People’s Republic of China.

Due to the halting of all modes of public transportation in and out of China’s Hubei province, Scoot had announced that the carrier has cancelled flights between Singapore and Wuhan till next week, on the 2nd February.

Meanwhile CNA reports that intending passengers who have made reservations on the now cancelled flights on Scoot are given an option to reroute flights to other destinations within China, Macau, Hong Kong or entitled to a full refund.

Those who had booked these cancelled flights were given the option to reroute their flight to other destinations within China, Macau or Hong Kong, or get a full refund.

At the same time, Singapore Airlines (SIA) has issued a statement on its website explaining that the carrier is closely monitoring the situation. SIA reiterates that the carrier is working with authorities to contain the virulent disease.

This includes, proactive screening of passengers on the ground and the distribution of a health advisory notice by MOH. As an added measure, in flight announcements regarding the coronavirus are made regularly on all flights to and from Mainland China.

SIA has also confirmed to waive all cancellation and change fees for customers with tickets issued prior to 24 January 2020 for travel to and from Mainland China up to and including 29 February 2020.

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