Wuhan virus: Singapore residents and Scoot staff back from Hangzhou

All passengers and crew members were declared afebrile or not feverish after undergoing stringent medical checks upon arrival at Changi Airport.
All passengers and crew members were declared afebrile or not feverish after undergoing stringent medical checks upon arrival at Changi Airport.PHOTO: ST FILE

After being quarantined in Hangzhou for more than a day, 18 Singapore residents and 10 staff members of budget carrier Scoot arrived home on a relief flight early yesterday morning.

Flight TR5001 departed from Singapore shortly before noon on Sunday, and flew back from Hangzhou as TR1189 at 8.28pm, said the Singapore Airlines subsidiary. The passengers were part of a larger group that had boarded a Scoot flight to Hangzhou last Friday.

They were isolated at Hangzhou International Airport after two passengers were found to have a fever. The two were later confirmed as Wuhan virus cases.

The Ministry of Transport (MOT) said after TR1189 arrived that all passengers and crew members were declared afebrile, or not feverish, after undergoing stringent medical checks at Changi Airport. The health status of the group is being closely monitored, MOT said.

As a precaution, 15 people assessed to be close contacts of the two confirmed cases have been issued quarantine orders, while the rest have been put on active phone surveillance.

Those who develop symptoms will be taken to hospital in a dedicated ambulance for further assessment, MOT said.

Explaining what happened, Scoot said earlier that due to the temporary suspension of all public transport networks in China's Hubei province, the carrier had cancelled all flights between Singapore and Wuhan, the capital of Hubei, from Jan 23 to Feb 2.

Those who had booked these cancelled flights were given the option to re-route their flight to other destinations within China, Macau or Hong Kong, or get a full refund.

Of the 314 passengers on Flight TR188, some were passengers who had originally planned to fly to Wuhan but chose the option of re-routing their flight to Hangzhou.

With flights to Wuhan cancelled from Jan 23, Scoot said it has received approval from the Chinese authorities to operate two one-way flights to Wuhan, to ferry passengers stranded in Singapore.

The flights will depart tomorrow and on Thursday.

Scoot said on its website that passengers affected by its Singapore-Wuhan flight cancellations and anyone else in Singapore seeking to return to Wuhan should contact the airline. Rebooking will be on a first come, first served basis.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 28, 2020, with the headline 'S'pore residents and Scoot staff back from Hangzhou'. Print Edition | Subscribe