Wuhan virus outbreak: Singapore female resident, 44, is 7th suspected case here

The closed Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, which has been linked to cases of the new coronavirus, on 17 January, 2020, in Wuhan, China. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Singapore’s seventh suspected case of a new coronavirus originating from the Chinese city of Wuhan has been admitted for further assessment and isolated as a precautionary measure here, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Monday (20 January).

In a press statement, the ministry said that it was notified of a 44-year-old female Singapore resident with pneumonia, who had travelled to Wuhan, as of 10am on the same day.

She was admitted for treatment and is in stable condition, the MOH added.

“The suspect case did not visit the Huanan seafood wholesale market associated with the cluster of pneumonia in Wuhan,” said the ministry.

Separately, epidemiological investigations, clinical assessment, and laboratory test results from a suspect case reported on 18 January concluded that it was not linked to the new coronavirus outbreak.

The 52-year-old male Singapore resident with pneumonia, who had travelled to Wuhan, tested negative for coronavirus.

“As medical practitioners are on the lookout for cases with pneumonia who have recently returned from Wuhan, Singapore is likely to see more suspect cases that will need to be investigated for possible links to the Wuhan cluster,” said the MOH.

Earlier on Monday, the ministry announced that it will expand temperature screening at Changi Airport to all travellers on flights arriving from China from Wednesday.

Since 3 January, temperature screening has only been implemented at the airport for travellers arriving on flights from Wuhan.

These measures come as Chinese authorities revealed earlier on Monday that 136 new cases of pneumonia caused by the coronavirus strain were found in Wuhan over the weekend, adding to 62 already known cases.

A third death occurred on Saturday, added Chinese authorities.

South Korea on the same day reported its first confirmed case of the coronavirus, a 35-year-old female Chinese national who had traveled from Wuhan, the fourth patient to be reported outside China. Last week, two cases were reported in Thailand and one in Japan. All three involved people from Wuhan or who recently visited the city.

According to Reuters, a report by London Imperial College's MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis estimated that by 12 January there were 1,723 cases in Wuhan with the onset of related symptoms. 

The new virus belongs to the same family of coronaviruses as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which killed nearly 800 people globally during a 2002-2003 outbreak and also originated from China.

Have a tip-off? Email us at sgnews.tips@verizonmedia.com. In your email, do provide as many details as possible, including videos and photos.

Related Singapore stories:

Wuhan virus outbreak: MOH to expand temperature screening at Changi Airport to all flights from China

China confirms spread of new virus as cases surge