Ikea Singapore to test children for fever as Wuhan virus anxiety swirls

IKEA outlet in Tampines. Photo: Google Street View
IKEA outlet in Tampines. Photo: Google Street View

Furniture retailer Ikea announced today it will not allow children with fever to enter its indoor playgrounds in Singapore to deter the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. 

In a statement today, the Swedish company said it would check the temperatures of all children entering its “Smaland” play areas in the kind of voluntary measures that have begun spreading along with public fear.

The cases are contained and public health authorities are not asking retail businesses to take any precautionary measures at this time but we still want to play our part in the community,” a statement read. 

It said any child with a temperature above 37.1C would be refused entry. 

Ikea staff are now required to record their own temperatures before starting work and must don face masks when attending children at play. 

It also joined retailers who have announced the addition of hand sanitizing stations in high traffic areas, such as CapitaLand, owner of many of Singapore’s neighborhood malls.

“Security teams will escort any suspected cases to the ambulance pick-up point,” the company said today in a statement vowing stepped-up measures “where necessary.”

Ikea stores see high volumes of visitors – 98 million people pass through its Southeast Asia stores last year, the company announced in a recent earnings report.

It has two outlets in Singapore, one on Alexandra Road and another larger store in Tampines. The latter spans more than 70,000sqm of floor space and houses a 500-seat restaurant.

Singapore has confirmed seven coronavirus infections and has rolled out new measures to bar entry of travelers from Hubei, the province where the outbreak began in Wuhan city, as well as all those holding passports issued there.

Travelers from Hubei already in Singapore are being summoned for possible quarantine. 

Related:

Singapore bars entry of travelers from Wuhan as two more infections confirmed
Malaysia confirms 7 coronavirus cases, one man arrested for spreading fake news on disease
‘I really want to go home,’ says Thai student trapped in Wuhan without food

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