Wuhan virus: One new confirmed case in Singapore on first day of Chinese New Year

People wear masks on a train on the first day of the Lunar New Year of the Rat in Hong Kong on January 25, 2020, as a preventative measure following a coronavirus outbreak which began in the Chinese city of Wuhan. - Hong Kong on January 25 declared a mystery virus outbreak as an "emergency" -- the city's highest warning tier -- as authorities ramped up measures aimed at reducing the risk of further infections spreading. (Photo by DALE DE LA REY / AFP) (Photo by DALE DE LA REY/AFP via Getty Images)

[UPDATE 26 JANUARY, 12.37am: The health ministry said that as of 25 January, 10pm, it has confirmed another imported case of Wuhan coronavirus infection in Singapore. It is a 36-year-old male Chinese national from Wuhan who arrived in Singapore with his family on 22 January.]

SINGAPORE – Singapore had one new confirmed case of the novel coronavirus on the first day of Chinese New Year (Saturday, 25 January), one of the biggest holidays in Singapore. This brings the current number of confirmed cases to four.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) said, in a press release e-mailed in the early hours of Sunday, 26 January, that case is a 36-year-old male Chinese national from Wuhan who arrived in Singapore with his family on 22 January.

He is currently warded in an isolation room at Sengkang General Hospital (SKH) and his condition is stable.

Though he said he did not have any symptoms during the flight to Singapore, he subsequently developed a cough on 23 January, and presented himself at the SKH emergency department on 24 January. He was classified as a suspect case and immediately isolated. Subsequent test results confirmed Wuhan coronavirus infection at about 9.30pm on 25 January.

Prior to hospital admission, the man stayed at Village Hotel Sentosa.

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

Earlier in the day on 25 January, the health ministry had said that it has not been notified of any new confirmed cases as of 12pm.

In a press statement, the MOH said 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. These three are the confirmed cases announced earlier.

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

Singapore Airlines waives cancellation and change fees

Singapore Airlines released a travel advisory on Friday, saying it is closely monitoring the development of the coronavirus pneumonia situation.

Measures that the airline has taken include screening of passengers on the ground, and distribution of MOH’s health advisory notice. As an added measure, inflight announcements regarding the coronavirus will be made on all flights to and from mainland China.

In addition, the airline will waive all cancellation and change fees for customers with tickets issued prior to Friday for travel to and from mainland China, up to and including 29 February.

Customers can contact the Singapore reservations team at +65-62238888 before departure to cancel or change their travel plans.

“Passengers and crew who are feeling unwell and have travelled to China recently are strongly advised to promptly seek medical attention, and report their travel history,” the airline said in its travel advisory.

“Any unwell passenger will be attended to by the relevant medical authorities immediately after the aircraft lands.”

Questions on coronavirus answered

Singapore government website Gov.sg also release a Facebook video of an interview with Professor Leo Yee Sin, executive director of the National Centre for Infectious Diseases, in which Prof Leo answers questions related to the novel coronavirus:

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