Four overseas cases of novel coronavirus linked to Singapore: Here’s what we know

Four overseas cases of novel coronavirus linked to Singapore: Here’s what we know

South Korea Coronavirus outbreak
Workers wearing protective gears spray disinfectant on a street as a precaution against a new coronavirus at Namdaemun Market in Seoul on Feb 5, 2020. (Photo: AP)

SINGAPORE: As countries around the world report more cases of coronavirus and try to establish the source of each infection, attention has turned to an international business conference at Singapore's Grand Hyatt hotel last month.

Malaysia and South Korea have as of Friday (Feb 7) confirmed three cases of the novel coronavirus linked to that conference. The UK also has one patient with the virus who had travelled to Singapore, although no link to the conference has been reported.

The authorities in Singapore have not revealed which company organised the conference, but it has been reported that it was an event by Servomex, which describes itself as a "provider of reliable, accurate and stable gas measurements". A source has also told CNA that the event was organised by the company, which was founded in the UK and has worldwide offices.

CNA contacted Servomex's office in Singapore for comment, but the company did not respond.

READ: More than 100 people attended meeting at Grand Hyatt Singapore linked to Malaysia, South Korea coronavirus cases

There were over 31,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus worldwide as of Friday morning. There have been two deaths reported outside of mainland China so far, one in the Philippines and one in Hong Kong.

This is what we know about the four international cases linked to Singapore:

MALAYSIA

WHO: A 42-year-old man from Selangor was the first Malaysian citizen to contract the novel coronavirus.

DETAILS: Singapore's Health Ministry said on Tuesday that the man had been in Singapore from Jan 16 to Jan 23 for the business meeting, which also had Chinese nationals in attendance.

The Malaysian developed symptoms a week after returning to Malaysia, and tested positive for the virus on Feb 3.

Malaysia's Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad on Tuesday said that the man was in a stable condition and receiving treatment at a Sungai Buloh Hospital.

SOUTH KOREA

WHO: A 36-year-old man and a 38-year-old man who attended the conference in Singapore.

DETAILS: Media reports on Wednesday said that the men had come into contact with the Malaysian who had tested positive for the virus.

The 38-year-old developed a fever two days after he returned to South Korea. Although he visited a hospital, he was not suspected to be infected as he had not been to China recently, reported the Korea Joongang Daily.

However, he did not get better and visited two other hospitals.

He received a call from the Malaysian on Monday, who told him that he had contracted the coronavirus. The South Korean then contacted a community health centre on Tuesday and was later tested positive for the virus.

UNITED KINGDOM

WHO: A middle-aged man who travelled to Singapore.

DETAILS: He became the UK's third confirmed case of the novel coronavirus, reported The Guardian on Thursday. He is the first British national to contract the virus.

After confirming that he had travelled to the UK from outside China, UK officials placed doctors on alert for cases of people returning from countries previously not considered a risk, The Guardian reported.

He is the fourth overseas case linked to Singapore.

TIMES CULTURAL ARTS LION DANCE TROUPE

Lion dance troupe Times Cultural Arts performed at the Servomex conference at the Grand Hyatt hotel level one ballroom in the early morning of Jan 20.

A member of the troupe confirmed the performance took place and told CNA on Thursday that they have not been in contact with any authorities after performing at the hotel. 

“We didn’t have much concern because it is just a five minute concert. And we didn’t have contact with the guests, because (we were) performing on a stage.” 

He added that they were engaged by an events company, and did not interact directly with any delegates.

The lion dance troupe uploaded a series of photos of the performance on Facebook on Jan 20.

Source: CNA/cc

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