Singapore has barred visitors with travel history to South Korea’s Cheongdo county and Daegu City in the past 14 days, in light of the growing number of coronavirus cases in these areas.
South Korea has raised its virus alert level to the highest “red” level on 24 February to strengthen the government’s overall response system against the coronavirus outbreak.
The country has reported 1,146 confirmed cases and 12 deaths as of today. Of those confirmed cases, 511 were linked to the Shincheonji Church of Jesus in Daegu, and 113 were from Daenam Hospital in Cheongdo.
On 21 February, South Korea’s government designated the two regions as “special care zones” following the spike of coronavirus cases there and implemented measures to reduce the risk of further transmission, The Straits Times reported.
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong announced in a press conference yesterday (25 February) that visitors with travel history to Cheongdo county and Daegu City in South Korea will not be allowed entry, nor transit through Singapore, Channel News Asia reported.
Singapore citizens, permanent residents, and long-term pass holders will be issued with a stay-home notice which requires them to remain in their homes for 14 days after they return to Singapore, the minister said.
This also applies to citizens with student passes, dependent passes, and work passes.
“While we have seen the number of new cases here in Singapore remain low over the last few days, we must remain aware that the global situation remains dynamic and we cannot afford to be complacent,” Mr Gan added.
Earlier on 23 February, the Ministry of Health (MOH) advised Singaporeans to avoid non-essential travel to South Korea’s Daegu and Cheongdo country as the number of coronavirus cases was increasing.
In fact, “suspect cases” has also been expanded by the MOH to include individuals with pneumonia or severe respiratory infection who have been to Daegu or Cheongdo within 14 days before the onset of symptoms.
MOH asserted in its public health travel advisory that officers will look out for travelers with respiratory symptoms at the aerobridges for flights that departed from South Korea and at immigration checks.
Furthermore, MOH will also issue notices to all travelers arriving at Changi Airport from South Korea to advise them on the measures they need to take when going to or coming from the affected places.
“Once a case is confirmed, contact tracing will be initiated, and we will implement strict isolation, quarantine, and infection control and prevention measures to prevent further transmission,” MOH stated.