SINGAPORE: Two more people with pneumonia who had travelled to Wuhan, China were warded here and isolated as a precautionary measure, bringing the tally of such cases to five.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) cautioned on Friday that Singapore is “likely to see more suspected cases that will need to be investigated”.
In the latest reported cases, a 64-year-old man from China and a 61-year-old female Singapore resident were admitted to a hospital for further assessment and treatment after they arrived here from Wuhan.
They are in stable condition, the MOH said, adding that the two did not visit the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, which is a large seafood and animal market that has been associated with the cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan.
In an update on the case involving the first Singaporean who was warded on Thursday for pneumonia, the MOH said that epidemiological investigations, clinical assessment and laboratory test results showed that the 69-year-old man’s case is not linked to the pneumonia cluster in Wuhan.
The patient has also tested negative for coronavirus.
The virus behind the outbreak at Wuhan city in the Hubei province of China is said to be a new coronavirus, known as 2019-nCoV, which belongs to a family of coronaviruses that cause illness in people and that circulate among animals.
In rare instances, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then spread from human to human, as it was with the severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) outbreak and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers).
The health authorities in Wuhan have diagnosed 41 people with the coronavirus.
Most of the patients in Wuhan have reportedly had some link to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, although some patients did not report visiting this market, suggesting that some limited person-to-person spread may be occurring, the World Health Organisation said.
So far, there have been two confirmed cases in Thailand and one in Japan. In China, two people who were infected and had underlying medical conditions have died.
Countries in Asia are on alert as the Chinese New Year approaches, given that it is a peak period for people from China to travel.
In Singapore, temperature screening measures have been put up at Changi Airport for inbound flights from Wuhan and suspected cases will be referred to hospitals for further assessment.
The MOH said that it will continue to monitor the situation closely.
“As medical practitioners are on the lookout for cases with pneumonia who have recently returned from Wuhan, Singapore is likely to see more suspected cases that will need to be investigated for possible links to the Wuhan cluster,” it said.
The ministry also urged the public to remain vigilant and to adopt good personal hygiene practices at all times.
It added that travellers to Wuhan should monitor their health closely and seek medical attention promptly if they feel unwell, and also inform their doctor of their travel history.
Investigations into the two latest cases here are ongoing. – Today Online
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