Parliament: Ebola outbreak risk here is low, says Health Ministry

Workers in protective gear attending to a mock Ebola patient, in an exercise to demonstrate Singapore’s defence against highly infectious diseases, at Changi Airport’s Terminal 2 on 14 Aug 2014. -- PHOTO: ZAOBAO
Workers in protective gear attending to a mock Ebola patient, in an exercise to demonstrate Singapore’s defence against highly infectious diseases, at Changi Airport’s Terminal 2 on 14 Aug 2014. -- PHOTO: ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - The risk of an ebola outbreak in Singapore is low because of the "limited travel connectivity" between Singapore and Africa, said Minister of State for Health Lam Pin Min in Parliament on Monday.

Prior to the outbreak, between 200 and 300 people arrived in Singapore from the ebola-hit region of Nigeria each month. In addition, a total of about 30 people also arrived from the ebola-hit regions of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone monthly.

The World Health Organisation declared that the outbreak was a Public Health Emergency of International Concern last month and since then many airlines have stopped flying to the latter three countries.

"The number of travellers from these countries to Singapore are even fewer now," Dr Lam said.

However, he outlined several measures to reduce the spread of infection should a confirmed case be detected here.

For instance, the management of cases will be centralised at Tan Tock Seng Hospital. However, a case that has been admitted in another hospital will continue to be managed there to minimise the risk of infection during transfer.