Ebola risk low in Singapore, but possibility of imported cases cannot be ruled out: PM Lee

While the risk of an Ebola outbreak in Singapore is low, the possibility of cases being imported here cannot be ruled out given that the Republic is an air hub, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
While the risk of an Ebola outbreak in Singapore is low, the possibility of cases being imported here cannot be ruled out given that the Republic is an air hub, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

While the risk of an Ebola outbreak in Singapore is low, the possibility of cases being imported here cannot be ruled out given that the Republic is an air hub, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

This is why Singapore is pitching in to help the fight against the deadly disease by donating US$150,000 to support the World Health Organisation (WHO) Ebola Response Roadmap, Mr Lee said in a Facebook post on Thursday.

 

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"The Ebola outbreak in West and Central Africa is a very serious epidemic, worsened by inadequate medical facilities and government services," he wrote. " Many countries are pitching in to help these countries fight Ebola. Singapore is doing our part as well."

The donation is on top of the package of medicine, medical supplies and personal protective equipment which Singapore contributed last month.

"In Singapore the risk is low, but being an air hub, we cannot rule out Ebola cases being imported. We have put in measures to deal properly with them," he added.

"We will continue working closely with the United Nations and WHO to contribute to ongoing efforts to fight this epidemic."

The Ministry of Health has been screening inbound travellers for the deadly Ebola virus at Changi Airport from Oct 15. Nationals or travellers from six affected countries - Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Senegal and the Democratic Republic of Congo - have to undergo temperature checks. They are also required to answer a questionnaire on exposure to Ebola and fill in a health declaration card.

Only those who are cleared will be directed to the duty desk at the arrival hall to clear immigration control.

Those found to have a fever will be taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital for further medical assessment, while those who are well but have been identified as having possible exposure to Ebola virus infection will be quarantined or put under surveillance, depending on the risk assessment.

Ebola has killed more than 4,000 people in West Africa since an outbreak began this year.

There are no direct flights between Singapore and these countries.