In light of the recent coronavirus outbreak, Kuwait has urged its citizens in Singapore to immediately leave the country, and requested those intending to fly to the Republic to hold their travel plans first, according to media reports.
Kuwait Times stated in its article that the Kuwaiti embassy in Singapore has made this announcement on 7 February after the city-state raised its Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) level from Yellow to Orange. Kuwait becomes the first country to advise its citizens to not travel to Singapore.
The embassy encouraged Kuwaitis currently in the Republic to “leave rapidly and abstain from staying except for compelling reasons”.
It also called for its citizens planning to visit Singapore to “wait until normal conditions are restored”.
Besides Kuwait, Qatar’s foreign affairs ministry also issued a similar statement on Sunday (9 February) via its embassy in Singapore asking all Qatari nationals planning to travel to Singapore to “wait until the conditions related to the Coronavirus calms, except for the most urgent need”.
Both the countries urged their citizens to take all necessary precautions and to oblige instructions issued by Singapore authorities via the Health Ministry’s website.
Additionally, they were also advised to restrain themselves from going to crowded places and malls, as well as to contact their respective embassies in cases of emergency.
On 29 January, Kuwait declared a travel ban to China, with its ambassador in China, Samir Johar Hayat, urging all Kuwaitis to not visit China unless truly necessary, Dubai-based newspaper Khaleej Times reported.
If that’s not all, on 1 February, Qatar Airways announced that it would suspend all flights to mainland China until further notice.
On Sunday (9 February), the Ministry of Health (MOH) has confirmed three additional cases of 2019 novel coronavirus infection in Singapore. This makes a total of 43 infected cases so far.
All three new confirmed cases have no recent travel history to China or links to previously confirmed cases.
Out of the 43 patients, six are in critical condition and placed in intensive care. Another six have made full recovery as of Monday (10 February).
As of now, the number of deaths due to the coronavirus has jumped to 902 and infected over 39,800 individuals, nearly all of them in Hubei, and spread to two dozen countries since it emerged in December 2019 at a market that sold wild animals in the city.
The number of infections has exceeded the total reported in the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic in 2003.
WHO also declared the outbreak in China a global public health emergency, and noted that there are chances for the virus to spread to countries that lack the capabilities to deal with it.