Wuhan coronavirus outbreak: 4th case confirmed in Singapore

PHOTO: Facebook / Village Hotel Sentosa

*Story updated at 10.30am on 26 January 2019, to reflect Village Hotel Sentosa’s response

SINGAPORE — Health officials have announced a fourth imported case of Wuhan coronavirus infection in Singapore, with all cases confirmed within the last four days.

In a statement on Sunday morning (26 January), the Ministry of Health (MOH) said that the latest patient is a 36-year-old male Chinese national from Wuhan who arrived in the Republic with his family last Wednesday.

“He is currently warded in an isolation room at Sengkang General Hospital (SKH) and his condition is stable,” said MOH. Prior to hospital admission, he had stayed at Village Hotel Sentosa.

While the man was asymptomatic during his flight to Singapore, he subsequently developed a cough on Thursday, and went to the SKH emergency department the following day.

He was classified as a suspect case and immediately isolated. Subsequent test results confirmed Wuhan coronavirus infection at about 9.30pm on Saturday.

MOH has initiated epidemiological investigations and contact tracing to identify individuals who had close contact with him.

Patient’s hotel room later used by others

Responding to queries from Yahoo News Singapore, a spokesperson from Village Hotel Sentosa said they were informed by MOH at about 10.40pm that one of their guests had tested positive for the coronavirus.

“We have identified all staff who have been in contact with the guest, and arrangements are being made to send them to the hospital for further examination,” said the spokesperson, adding that the guest’s room has also been vacated and blocked.

The spokesperson said the infected guest had checked out on 24 January and that other guests had checked into the same room.

“Upon receiving the update from MOH, these guests were promptly moved to another room and are being isolated. MOH will be contacting these guests in the morning,” said the spokesperson.

The hotel as also taken a number of measures such as making hand sanitisers and surgical masks available for guests and staff; increasing the frequency of sanitisation and cleaning in “high touchpoint areas” including public and back-of-house zones; as well as implementing daily temperature screenings for all staff.

On Saturday, the first day of the Lunar New Year, MOH had said that there were no new confirmed cases as of noon. It added that in total, it has been notified of a total of 64 suspect cases, of which 29 have tested negative for the novel coronavirus, and three have tested positive.

Test results for the remaining 32 cases are pending, the ministry added.

The disease, which originated in Wuhan, has now spread to more than 10 countries, including Japan, Thailand, Singapore and the United States. There have been more than 1,400 cases worldwide, with 42 deaths, all in China.

(CREDIT: Yahoo News Singapore)