People’s Association (PA) Director Tan Swee Leng wrote to ST Forum today (1 Feb) to explain why the annual Chingay Parade is to be continued, despite the recent global outbreak of the deadly Wuhan Virus.
“After careful consideration, the decision was made to continue with the Chingay Parade – the first run of the parade was held yesterday (31 Jan), and the second will be held today,” said Director Tan.
She added that the decision was taken as there has been “no evidence of community transmission” so far.
“PA is taking enhanced measures such as asking performers and volunteers to excuse themselves from Chingay, if they are unwell or have recently travelled to China,” she said.
“Overseas performers have also been screened and have been monitoring their health daily.”
Thermal scanners will be set up at the entry points for temperature screenings of spectators and there would also be “prominent notices” put up to advise those who are unwell to skip the parade, she added.
“As we seek to put up a safe and enjoyable Chingay, we seek everyone’s cooperation to stay vigilant and continue to adopt good personal hygiene practices,” she said.
Performers from China cleared by doctor
Meanwhile, six performers from China, who flew in on 21 Jan, have been screened and cleared by a doctor to take part in the Chingay Parade. However, it is noted that the incubation period of the Wuhan virus has been reported to be as long as 14 days.
PA said advisories have been sent out asking performers and volunteers to conduct daily temperature checks and to excuse themselves should they feel unwell.
So far, the Chinese authorities have reported 259 deaths resulting from the coronavirus outbreak with a total of 11,791 infected in China.
On 23 Jan, China imposed a lockdown in Wuhan and other cities in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus.
Following the declaration of a global emergency by WHO over the deadly coronavirus spreading from China, Singapore announced yesterday (31 Jan) that new visitors of any nationality with recent travel history to China will not be allowed to enter Singapore. These visitors will also not be allowed to transit in Singapore. The ban will come into effect at 11.59pm today.
Those with Chinese passports, with the exception of Singapore permanent residents (PRs) and long-term pass holders, will also not be allowed to enter Singapore.