Channel NewsAsia

S'poreans still planning to travel to Mideast despite MERS

Travel agencies in Singapore say Singaporeans are still planning to travel to the Middle East despite recent developments on the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus.

SINGAPORE: Travel agencies in Singapore say Singaporeans are still planning to travel to the Middle East despite recent developments on the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

The death toll in Saudi Arabia has risen to 111 since the disease first appeared in September 2012, while the first case of MERS was reported in the United States on Friday.

Some travel agencies are not taking their chances and have advised their customers to upgrade their travel insurance so that they can be flown back to Singapore to seek treatment if they fall ill.

Others have urged travellers to delay or change their plans if possible, and for the elderly to go for medical screenings before their departure.

They have also reinforced the message from a recent Health Ministry advisory for Umrah and Haj pilgrims in Singapore which urged travellers to adopt good food safety and hygiene practices, and to avoid consuming unpasteurised milk, undercooked meat, or unsafe water.

They should also avoid contact with camels and other live farm or wild animals.

"I think we'll have to take more precautions, and I think this time round, we cannot visit the camel farm. That's where we have the fresh milk,” said Suhana Sumail, an Umrah pilgrim.

“Basically, we'll not go to crowded areas, and also if we have flu or we have fever, we will stay away and try to wear masks."

Tweet Photos, Videos and Update on this Story to  #cna