It was reported yesterday (4 Feb) that the Ministry of Health (MOH) has confirmed Singapore’s first locally transmitted cases involving the deadly Wuhan virus.
Four Singapore residents have been tested positive for the virus even though they have not recently travelled to China. They are a tour guide for a group of Chinese tourists, two salespersons at health product store Yong Thai Hang — one of the places visited by the group while in Singapore — and one domestic helper of one of the aforementioned salespersons. The Chinese group, said to be from Guangxi province, has already left Singapore.
At the press conference yesterday, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said that the 4 local human-to-human transmission in Singapore does not constitute widespread community transmission.
Although it is community transmission, it is a limited transmission, he said. “For this particular cluster, we are able to identify all the contacts that are involved, including the source of the infection.”
Gan said that the Government has been expecting cases with limited community transmission like this one, and it is “a scenario we are prepared for”.
He assured that measures will be ramped up “when you have cases popping up in different parts of Singapore and we are not able to determine the source, have no idea where they come from”.
“We’re watching the situation very carefully, monitoring developments, and we’re quite prepared to adjust our posture, our stance,” he added.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) is still tracing where else the Chinese tour group had gone to and the hotel they stayed at. However, Gan did concede that there may be more local residents with exposure to this particular Chinese group.
Macau distributes 20 million masks and asks residents to wear them on public transport
Meanwhile, Macau authorities announced the distribution of 20 million surgical face masks to residents 2 weeks ago, after the first confirmed case of the Wuhan virus surfaced in Macau.
And on Monday (3 Feb), the Macau Transport Bureau (DSAT) announced that all public transportation drivers and passengers would now be required to wear surgical face masks. If any passenger refuses to wear a mask, the driver has the right to bar the passenger from stepping aboard.
The DSAT guaranteed that all entities and companies under its supervision have been required to reinforce cleaning, hygiene and sterilization work both inside buses and at bus stops. These companies are also monitoring the health of their workers.
Macau’s banks will also require all customers entering their premises to undergo body temperature checks.
But in Singapore, the government said that one should only wear a mask if he or she doesn’t feel well. If one is well, don’t wear a mask, an advertisement from the Singapore government said.