SINGAPORE — Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has urged the public not to listen to or spread rumours and untrue reports concerning the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.
In a post on his Facebook page, Lee said on Tuesday (28 January), “Sharing news responsibly is an important way we can protect ourselves.”
His comments came before the POFMA Office said two Facebook users made a falsehood by alleging that Woodlands MRT station was closed for disinfection due to a suspect case of the Wuhan coronavirus. The station was not closed and was operational, the POFMA office added.
The Minister for Transport has instructed the POFMA Office to issue a correction direction to Facebook.
On the rapidly developing situation amid the outbreak, Lee said that he has received many messages expressing concerns.
“I fully understand your feelings. We are all worried for ourselves and our loved ones, here and overseas.”
Singapore has activated its contingency plans and all its agencies are working together, Lee said. “We have not had local transmission or community spread yet, but that can happen, and we must be prepared for it.”
Earlier Tuesday, the Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed two more imported cases of the Wuhan coronavirus in Singapore, bringing the total to seven cases so far.
The authorities also announced new travel curbs in a bid to combat the outbreak.
All new visitors with recent travel history to Hubei within the last 14 days will not be allowed to enter or transit through Singapore from Wednesday 12 noon onwards. The travel ban extends to those with Chinese passports issued in Hubei.
Returning Singaporeans, permanent residents and long-term pass holders with travel history to Hubei in the last 14 days will be quarantined, as will returning permanent residents and long-term pass holders with Chinese passports issued in Hubei.
“We will continue to monitor the situation closely and do more if necessary. Meanwhile, we should all remain calm,” Lee said.
He also said the public can limit transmission of germs by practising good hygiene.
“Wash your hands regularly, and seek medical advice early and wear a mask if you feel unwell. But in general, there is no need to wear a mask if you are not ill.”
Urging everyone to remain calm, Lee said Singapore will continue to monitor the situation closely and do more if necessary.