Ministry of Health: 57 suspected Mers cases have tested negative in Singapore

Medical staff at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, the designated isolation centre for suspected and confirmed Mers cases. -- ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG
Medical staff at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, the designated isolation centre for suspected and confirmed Mers cases. -- ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

SINGAPORE - A traveller who arrived here from South Korea this week was sent for further checks for the Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers) but later tested negative.

This was the only suspected Mers case from the seven flights from South Korea screened by the authorities as of 2pm on Wednesday, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Friday afternoon.

In all, 57 suspected Mers cases had been tested in Singapore as of Wednesday, including those picked up after airport temperature screenings or referred by general practitioners.

All tested negative, said the MOH.

Singapore has been screening air travellers from the Middle East since May last year, but started doing so for air passengers from South Korea from Tuesday, given the worsening Mers situation there with 11 deaths.

Mers has infected 126 people in South Korea so far. A 72-year-old woman became the latest fatality, taking the death toll in the country to 11 on Friday.

The MOH told The Straits Times all Singapore hospitals are ready to screen and isolate suspected cases. Suspected cases may be isolated for observation and further investigations, which may take up to 48 hours.

kxinghui@sph.com.sg