Amid the spread of coronavirus here, South Korea and Israel have issued travel advisories urging their citizens to avoid non-essential travel to Singapore, Indonesia and Taiwan have also raised its travel alert for Singapore.
According to Korea Times, the foreign ministry of South Korea announced on Tuesday (11 February) that citizens are advised to reduce traveling to China, Singapore and five other Asian countries as a part of efforts “to prevent the inflow of the novel coronavirus into the country through a third nation”.
As a preventive measure against the virus, Israel government also advised its nationals to “carefully consider the necessity” of visiting seven East Asian countries including Singapore, reported by The Time of Israel.
It was also noted that travelers must see a doctor and receive testing for coronavirus if they are feeling unwell after arriving from those specific countries within the past 14 days or had close contact with a confirmed infected case.
Apart from that, Indonesia has raised the travel alert for Singapore to level Yellow following the announcement of upgrading city-state’s Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) level to Orange.
Indonesians who are travelling to Singapore were urged to increase their awareness and take various steps to prevent transmission of the 2019-nCoV outbreak, such as: maintaining physical and psychological stamina, maintaining personal hygiene and the environment, routinely wash hands, wear masks, reduce activities outside the home, and avoid interactions with public crowds.
The coronavirus outbreak also prompted Taiwan to issue travel alert for Singapore, urging citizens to take precautions and mind their health when travelling to Singapore according to state media.
Kuwait and Qatar urged citizens to hold their travel plans to Singapore
Kuwait embassy in Singapore made an announcement on 7 Feb to urge its citizens in Singapore to immediately leave the country, and requested those intending to fly to the Republic to hold their travel plans first.
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”.
In the meantime, Qatar’s foreign affairs ministry also asked all Qatari nationals planning to travel to Singapore to “wait until the conditions related to the Coronavirus calms, except for the most urgent need”.
Singapore’s tourism sector affected by 2019-nCoV, says STB
As a result of 2019-nCoV, Singapore Tourism Board (STB) presumed that tourism sector for 2020 will take a significant hit and is expected to fall due to the lower travel confidence globally.
“Based on the current situation, the STB expects visitor arrivals this year to fall by about 25 to 30 per cent,” STB said.
STB also noted that the outbreak has significantly affected on visitor arrivals, especially from China, which accounts for around 20 per cent of international visitor arrivals.
Responding to the critical situation, the Chief Executive of STB, Keith Tan said, “We are facing our biggest challenge since SARS in 2003, with visitor arrivals expected to take a serious hit. But unlike SARS, we are now better prepared and more resilient.”
Update on 2019 novel coronavirus
The World Health Organisation on Tuesday (11 Feb) has officially named the deadly coronavirus as “Covid-19” at a conference in Geneva, where the body’s chief said countries has a chance of stopping its global spread.
As of Tuesday (11 Feb), the Ministry of Health (MOH) has confirmed two additional cases of Covid-19, brings total of confirmed cases to 47 in Singapore.
The death toll of Covid-19 passed 1,000 and jumped to 1,110 globally on Wednesday, with more than 44,200 confirmed cases across mainland China.