“There is no need to avoid places where persons with suspected or confirmed cases of the nCoV have been,” said authorities on Saturday (1 February).
In an advisory posted on the Gov.sg Facebook page, the government noted that ‘false rumours’ have been spreading on WhatsApp involving a list of alleged locations to avoid – places where confirmed or suspected cases of the novel coronavirus have been.
Rebutting the message as false, the advisory goes on to say, “The risk of infection from transient contact, such as in public places, is low. There is also currently no evidence of community spread.”
A similar advisory was published by the National Environment Agency on the same day on its Facebook page.
NEA said, “There is a text message circulating on a list of places to avoid due to reports of areas that have been exposed to confirmed cases of the Wuhan virus infection.”
It assured the public that NEA officers have been liaising with and providing support to residents and owners of premises to ensure that cleaning and disinfection of areas are done according to the agency’s guidelines.
“For places exposed to confirmed cases, our officers have been on the ground giving advice on and supervising the cleaning and disinfection works,” explained NEA.
It added that it has also issued sanitation and hygiene advisories to premises and facilities with high public access such as hotels, commercial buildings, and food and beverage outlets including hawker centres.
The advisory stressed, “There is no need for members of the public to avoid these places. We advise members of the public to not speculate and/or spread unfounded rumours.”
Both advisories also urged the public to refer to official sources of information such as the Ministry of Health’s website for updated information on the Wuhan virus situation in Singapore.
18 confirmed case in Singapore so far
As of Saturday (2 February) evening, the MOH confirmed two additional imported cases of the virus in Singapore, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 18.
MOH noted that both new cases have recently travelled to Wuhan and again highlighted that there is currently no evidence of community spread in Singapore.
The ministry continued to perform contract tracing for the confirmed cases, monitoring them closely once found and placing them in quarantine for 14 days from their last exposure to the patient as a precautionary measure.
As of 1 February, 12pm, MOH has identified 245 close contacts. Of the 177 who are still in Singapore, 172 have been contacted and are being quarantined or isolated. Efforts are ongoing to contact the remaining five close contacts.