The Health Ministry will start temperature screening at air checkpoints for all passengers arriving from affected countries in the Middle East from May 18, in order to facilitate early detection of the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).
No cases have been detected in Singapore so far.
Temperature screening may not pick up all imported cases due to the 14-day incubation period for the virus. Hence, healthcare institutions will remain vigilant to test for the virus in patients with symptoms and a compatible travel history.
The United States had recently confirmed the country’s first two cases of MERS - a coronavirus like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome - raising fears about the global spread of the virus. But the World Health Organisation said on Wednesday that while concern about the virus had significantly increased, the disease was not yet a global health emergency.
Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday that 10 more people infected with MERS had died over the last two days and identified 20 new cases of the virus, pushing the total number of infections in the country to 511. More than 500 cases have been reported worldwide, with about 30 per cent proving fatal.