Monkeypox case in Singapore: Guests unfazed at Hotel 81 where patient stayed

Monkeypox case in Singapore: Guests unfazed at Hotel 81 where patient stayed

Hotel 81 Orchid Geylang
The man had stayed at Hotel 81 Orchid, located at 21 Lorong 8 Geylang. (Photo: Cindy Co)

SINGAPORE: It seemed to be business as usual on Friday (May 10) at Hotel 81 Orchid in Geylang, the day after it emerged that a Nigerian man who contracted monkeypox had stayed there.

CNA spoke to several people leaving and entering the hotel on Lorong 8, all of whom seemed unfazed by the incident or unfamiliar with it. One couple, who declined to be named, said they hadn't heard about the incident at all.

“We booked this hotel because all other hotels were full,” the foreign tourists said.

On Thursday, the Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed the first case of monkeypox in Singapore. The patient was identified as a 38-year-old Nigerian man who tested positive for the virus on May 8 and who is currently in an isolation ward at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID).

Through contact tracing, MOH said that it identified 23 people who had close contact with the patient, and have placed them under quarantine. It was also stressed that the risk of monkeypox spreading within the community in Singapore is low.

Other people CNA spoke to as they left the hotel said that they had not noticed anything out of the ordinary.

“We totally didn’t know about it until (we saw) the news last night,” said a Singaporean man, who also declined to be named for privacy reasons.

Both he and his girlfriend had stayed overnight at the hotel.

“It’s as per normal as the few visits we went before this … (The hotel staff) didn’t say anything. (We) just check in, make the payment and that’s it,” the man said.

When asked if they would have reconsidered their decision to stay in the hotel had they known of the incident, the couple said that they would not.

“So far we stayed here, it’s okay … We usually come here quite often,” they said.

When CNA approached staff at the reception desk, they said queries should be directed to management. CNA has reached out for comment.

READ: First monkeypox case in Singapore: What you need to know about the disease

Monkeypox symptoms and how it spreads - infographic

ROOM AT SAMSUNG HUB DISINFECTED

CNA also approached people who were leaving Samsung Hub, the building on Church Street where the Nigerian man attended a workshop on Apr 29 and 30, according to MOH.

Most of them had not heard about the monkeypox case and said that they had not been informed of it by the building management.

“I didn’t receive any news about that at all. I didn’t notice anything, didn’t see anything. Didn’t reach any word on our floor,” said Martin, who gave only his first name.

“(I found out about it) from CNA. It’s quite abrupt and we didn’t know anything … Not many people know, I think. Even we were very surprised,” said Mr Ho, who declined to give his full name.

However, some mentioned that they noticed an increased police presence on Thursday, although they had no idea if it was related to the monkeypox incident.

“I know there was a lot of police, there was a big presence - but I’m not sure exactly what happened,” said Adil, who also declined to give his full name.

Most people said they were not unduly worried about what had happened.

“I suppose (the authorities) have contained it quite well,” said Martin.

CBRE, which manages Samsung Hub, told CNA that measures have been taken following the incident. 

“In light of this case, the AHU room has been cleaned and disinfected and additional filters have been placed in the aircon unit on the affected floor," it said in a statement.

“Cleaning staff have been carrying out thorough cleaning and disinfection of all public spaces – including the main lobby, all lift lobbies, individual lift cars and toilets at all levels. We are in touch with MOH who has confirmed that these follow-up measures are adequate.” 

Source: CNA/cc

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