Wuhan virus: Quarantine centres, including chalets, being prepared as Singapore fights spread of disease

Police vehicles were seen at the Treehouse Villas @ Changi in Sealand Road, on Jan 24, 2020. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR
The Heritage Chalet in Pasir Ris is designated as one of the facilities being prepared as Singapore fights the spread of the Wuhan virus. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

SINGAPORE - Government quarantine facilities are being prepared as Singapore fights the spread of the Wuhan virus in the Republic.

They include Heritage Chalet, SAF Changi Chalets and the HomeTeamNS Sembawang Chalets, the Ministry of National Development told The Straits Times on Friday (Jan 24).

On Thursday night, a flurry of activity was seen at the Treehouse Villas @ Changi in Sealand Road.

The units there can only be booked by personnel from the Singapore Armed Forces, according to reviews online. It is believed there are 14 units there.

At least three small trucks and five cars were seen driving in to deliver items such as coffee powder, Milo and bottles of mineral water.

The ministry said that quarantine refers to the isolation of people who are well and who may have been exposed to an infectious agent, and may be infected, but are not yet ill.

Putting them in quarantine will prevent them from potentially infecting others if they are infected and subsequently come down with symptoms.

A quarantine order will be issued to the person to compel him to be isolated at a designated place for a specified period of time.

"The Government will ensure that all persons served with quarantine orders will be housed in appropriate locations," a ministry spokesman said.

Such facilities will be thoroughly cleaned according to guidelines from the Health Ministry.

"Care will be taken to make sure the rooms are safe for stay," it said.

It added that the facilities are part of the Government's plans when responding to emergencies and may be activated from time to time.

The Health Ministry said on Friday that there are now three confirmed cases of the Wuhan virus in Singapore. All three are tourists from China.

In total, there are 44 suspected cases involving patients between the age of one and 78. Thirteen have tested negative and three have tested positive.

Contact tracing has been initiated to identify close contacts of the three cases.

The ministry said 16 people will be quarantined and monitored for development of symptoms for 14 days from their last exposure with the patient.

At the peak of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) crisis in 2003, the Aloha Loyang Resort was designated a quarantine zone.

In 2009, the Aloha Loyang Resort, People's Association Holiday Flats and HomeTeamNS chalets at in Pasir Ris were designated quarantine centres for those who came into contact with H1N1 patients.

At that time, 281 people, mostly foreigners, stayed at the resorts to serve out their quarantine orders.

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