Despite Chingay Parade tickets being sold out to 32,000 guests over the two days, only 12,000 guests showed up at the F1 Pit Building on the first night of the parade.
The low turnout of the two-night parade which started on 31 January 2020 to 1 February 2020 was likely impacted by the concerns over the Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak, as the total number of infections in Singapore has risen to 18 cases to date.
While the seats seem to be filled in the photos, the attendance was lacklustre compared to prior years.
Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing indicated the impact of the Wuhan Coronavirus situation as “wider, deeper and longer” than the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003, Channel News Asia reported on 2 February 2020.
The annual Chingay Parade has attracted a consistent crowd in range of 70,000 to 90,000 guests a night every year.
Themed “Colours In Harmony”, the parade was initially expected to attract an estimation of 280,000 people this year.
A video of the seats at River Hongbao shows a lackluster turnout of the crowd that awaits the parade coming out from the F1 pit.
This year’s Chingay Parade was unveiled with firecrackers paving the way for a Merlion float that was carrying Prime Minister Lee Hsien Long, Mrs Lee, and Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing.
The annual parade features 6,000 volunteer performers, including 500 performers from Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Russia, Thailand, and Vietnam. Some of the performers have prepared seven months before the parade, and undergone a temperature-taking regime every day.
People’s Association Chief Executive Director, Desmond Tan told The Straits Times that the six performers who flew from the Chinese City of Xi’an, China have also been screened and approved by a doctor to participate.
Mr Tan said that Chingay Parade organizers have even ramped up health and safety measures by setting up thermal scanners at all eight entry points of the parade for temperature screening.
Attendees and performers with a temperature of 38 degree Celsius and above will be moved to an isolation point for further assessment.
Mr Tan also mentioned that on-site notices were also put up to advise those who are feeling unwell or who have just returned from China to seek medical assistance.
Prior to that, similar measures will also be applied at Chingay events in areas like Sembawang GRC and Our Tampines Hub.
On 30 January 2020, the World Health Organization declared the Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern.
The Novel Coronavirus has now spread to more than 20 countries, with 19,550 confirmed cases and 425 deaths as of today (4 Feb).
The infectious disease outbreak caused a drastic increase in the sales of surgical and N95 face masks, raising concern among the people on the insufficient supply of masks and sanitizers. Some citizens have even taken their grievances online.
However, in a Facebook post on Tuesday (28 Jan), Senior Minister of State for Health Lam Pin Min said that the supply of masks in the country is sufficient if they are used “sensibly and responsibly”.