Singapore’s health ministry today announced that two more patients have been infected by the Chinese coronavirus as new travel restrictions on Chinese travelers go into effect.
Singapore will now bar all travelers from Hubei province and quarantine those already here and at risk, the ministry said, as the provincial capital of Wuhan is where most of the nearly 4,500 infections are concentrated.
Wuhan is currently on lockdown as the number of infected patients and deaths continue to rise in China.
The new Singapore cases involve two male Chinese nationals, 56 and 35, who arrived Jan. 19 and Thursday, respectively. Both tested positive yesterday for the 2019-nCoV coronavirus.
The older man, who had stayed with his family at a Pasir Ris condominium, developed a cough nearly a week after arrival and was taken to Changi General Hospital. The younger man was taken to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases a day after arriving in Singapore.
Also this afternoon, the confirmed cases in nearby Thailand nearly doubled from eight to 14.
The health ministry today detailed new measures to quarantine travelers from Hubei province already in Singapore and assessed to be of high-risk. About 2,000 such travelers are presently in the city-state – nearly half of which are on short-term visas. Some are Singapore residents. The ministry said it has already begun contacting them.
Starting noon tomorrow, all new visitors who recently traveled to Hubei or have passports issued in the province will not be allowed to enter or transit in Singapore.
The government is also suspending visas for travelers holding passports issued in Hubei.
The moves come amid strong public pressure to ratchet up restrictions on travel from the affected area, where at least 106 people have died, as infections continue to spread through the region and world.
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