Health Ministry steps up Ebola screening measures at Changi Airport

 Health screening officers at Changi Airport. New measures to screen travellers for Ebola will be introduced at Changi Airport from noon tomorrow. -- PHOTO: ZAOBAO FILE
 Health screening officers at Changi Airport. New measures to screen travellers for Ebola will be introduced at Changi Airport from noon tomorrow. -- PHOTO: ZAOBAO FILE

SINGAPORE- New measures to screen travellers for Ebola will be introduced at Changi Airport from noon tomorrow.

Nationals and travellers from countries with reported Ebola virus disease activity will be directed to a screening station where their temperature will be checked. They will also be made to answer a questionnaire on exposure to Ebola, the Health Ministry said in a release on Tuesday.

There will be signs to indicate where the screening stations are.

These passengers will also be required to fill in the Health Declaration Card, which will include their contact details in Singapore. Travellers who are cleared will be directed to the duty desk at the arrival hall, where they will clear immigration control.

Ebola has been detected in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Senegal and Democratic Republic of Congo so far.

The new measures come after healthcare workers in the United States and Spain were found to be infected with Ebola recently. These show that an imported case and the potential for community exposure from imported cases cannot be ruled out, MOH said.

Those screened and found to have a fever will be transported in an appropriate ambulance transport to Tan Tock Seng Hospital for further medical assessment. Travellers who are well but who are identified as having possible exposure to Ebola virus infection will be quarantined or put under surveillance depending on the risk assessment.

Aside from Singapore Changi Airport, the Health Declaration Card will also be implemented at land and sea checkpoints, as well as at Seletar Airport.

In addition, MOH has reminded all Singapore hospitals to be vigilant against possible suspect cases. They are reminded to have strict infection control practices, when managing suspect or confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease.

Singapore's public hospitals have in place the appropriate infection control measures, assured MOH.

Suspect cases will be assessed at emergency departments, and as a precaution, isolated from other patients to minimise any risk of transmission. Measures are in place to carry out contact tracing and quarantine of all close contacts, if there is an imported case in Singapore, the ministry said.

Before travelling to West or Central Africa, members of the public are encouraged to refer to the MOH web page on Ebola at:

http://www.moh.gov.sg/content/moh_web/home/pressRoom/Current_Issues/2014/

ebola-virus-disease-.html for the latest Health Advisory.