Temperature screening at Changi Airport for travellers flying from Wuhan from 3 Jan over pneumonia concerns

(Reuters file photo)
(Reuters file photo)

SINGAPORE — Travellers from the Chinese city of Wuhan will have their temperatures screened at Changi Airport from Friday evening (3 January), in light of a mysterious outbreak of viral pneumonia there.

Suspected cases will then be referred to hospitals for further assessment, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Thursday, adding that it is monitoring the situation closely.

Health advisory posters for all travellers will be put up at Changi Airport, and a health advisory will be provided to all travellers flying in from Wuhan.

The MOH has also alerted all medical practitioners to be vigilant to look out for suspected cases with pneumonia who have recently returned from Wuhan.

"Suspect cases with fever and acute respiratory illness or pneumonia and with travel history to Wuhan within 14 days before onset of symptoms will be isolated as a precautionary measure to prevent transmission," the ministry added.

As of Thursday, the MOH has not been notified of any suspected cases.

All travellers to Wuhan are advised to monitor their health closely and to seek medical attention promptly if they feel unwell, and to also inform their doctor of their travel history, said the ministry.

Some precautions they could also adopt include avoiding contact with live animals, such as poultry and birds, and the consumption of raw and undercooked meats.

According to a South China Morning Post report, at least 27 people in Wuhan, most of them stallholders at a seafood market, have been treated for the illness over the last month.

News of the outbreak had led to online speculation that it might be linked to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or Sars.

But the country's state media People's Daily has refuted the claims and called them "inconclusive" as the cause of the current outbreak is unclear, according to AFP, citing the paper’s Weibo microblog.

The 2003 Sars outbreak killed over 600 people in mainland China and Hong Kong. Over 30 died from the virus in Singapore.

Sars, which infected more than 8,000 people around the world, likely originated from the Chinese province of Guangdong, according to World Health Organization (WHO).

The organisation declared China free of Sars in May 2014.

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