15 years after Sars, it's even more vital to stay vigilant

MOH has proposed greater powers to help it curb infectious diseases. Quarantine and isolation of high-risk individuals may cause inconvenience but everyone must play his part.

Fifteen years ago on May 31, the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) which claimed 33 lives here - and provided a wake-up call about trans-border disease transmission - was declared over in Singapore.

Caused by infection with the Sars coronavirus (CoV), Sars first emerged in Guangdong, spread to Hong Kong, and eventually affected over 8,000 people in 26 countries. The first Singaporeans affected were holidaymakers who fell ill shortly after returning from Hong Kong in late February 2003.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 29, 2018, with the headline '15 years after Sars, it's even more vital to stay vigilant'. Subscribe