Wuhan virus: No new confirmed cases in Singapore after the three announced earlier, says MOH

Temperature screening stations at Tuas Checkpoint as seen on Jan 24, 2020. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - There are no new confirmed cases of the Wuhan coronavirus here, after the three that were announced earlier, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Saturday (Jan 25).

MOH has so far been notified of a total of 64 suspect cases. Three tested positive for the virus, 29 tested negative and results for the remaining 32 cases are pending.

On contact tracing efforts for the three confirmed cases, the ministry said that 46 individuals have been identified as close contacts for the first case, involving a 66-year-old man from Wuhan.

As of Saturday afternoon, 26 of them have left Singapore while 15 others have been isolated or quarantined.

The close contacts include eight of the man's travelling companions who left Singapore on Thursday afternoon, before his case was confirmed.

MOH said that it had informed Malaysian authorities when these close contacts were identified.

Malaysia reported its first three confirmed Wuhan cases on Saturday. The Chinese citizens, who entered the country via Johor Baru, are the wife and grandsons of Singapore's first confirmed case. The children are aged 11 and two.

For the second case which involved a 53-year-old woman from Wuhan, 57 close contacts have been identified.

Two have left Singapore and out of the remaining 55, MOH has contacted 40.

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Efforts are ongoing to get in touch with the remaining 15.

The third case involves a 37-year-old man from Wuhan who is the son of the first confirmed case here.

The people he came into contact with are mostly the same as those who were in contact with his father, noted the ministry.

In addition, three more of his close contacts have been identified. MOH is in touch with two of them so far.

"Given the high volume of international travel to Singapore, MOH expects to see more suspect and imported cases. We urge the public to remain calm and vigilant, and to adopt good personal hygiene practices," said the ministry in its release.

Meanwhile, the National Public Health Laboratory has developed a diagnostic test to identify the novel coronavirus. The test is being deployed to all public hospital laboratories to boost diagnostic capabilities nationwide.

The laboratory was set up in March 2009 as part of MOH's communicable disease division.

The virus continues to spread in China, where more than 1,300 people have been infected and over 40 people have died.

Suspected and confirmed cases have also surfaced in Malaysia, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Macau, Thailand, Vietnam, Europe and the United States.

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