Second flight bringing Singaporeans back from Wuhan to return on Sunday

Second flight bringing Singaporeans back from Wuhan to return on Sunday

The humanitarian assistance flown from Singapore to Wuhan
Humanitarian assistance, which will be flown from Singapore to Wuhan, includes medical supplies and diagnostic test kits for the 2019 novel coronavirus. (Photo: MFA)

SINGAPORE: A second flight bringing Singaporeans and their family members back from Wuhan, Hubei is expected to arrive in Singapore on Sunday (Feb 9) morning.

"Appropriate quarantine arrangements have been made for all of them," said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).

READ: Singaporeans who want to return from Hubei should contact MFA, embassy

Singapore flew 92 Singaporeans home from Wuhan last week, four of whom have since been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said at the time that some Singaporeans were unable to come back because they were already symptomatic.

Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said in Parliament on Monday that Singapore will not leave any overseas citizen behind, in the wake of the novel coronavirus outbreak that has since killed more than 700 people and infected more than 35,000, mostly in China.

READ: 7 new coronavirus cases in Singapore, including taxi and private-hire drivers

In a press statement on Saturday, MFA said that the Chinese authorities agreed to its request to launch another flight to bring Singaporeans and their families home.

Scoot flight TR5120 departed from Singapore on Saturday afternoon.

The plane will deliver humanitarian assistance from the Singapore Government, including medical supplies and about 10,000 diagnostic test kits.

READ: PM Lee urges Singapore to take courage amid coronavirus outbreak, see through stressful time together

"Today is chap goh mei, which is another traditional evening for family reunion.  So, for us to be able to launch this flight to bring our Singaporeans back on this day is extra special," said Dr Balakrishnan, at the handing over of Singapore’s humanitarian assistance to Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China Hong Xiaoyong at Changi Airport on Saturday.

Dr Balakrishnan also thanked the airline crew, pilots and cabin crew for continuing to fly.

"We are maintaining links between Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chongqing and the fact that these links are available for essential services is a very important point, especially in a time of crisis," he said.

Foreign Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan speaking to the press
Foreign Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan speaking to the press after handing over Singapore’s humanitarian assistance to Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China Hong Xiaoyong. (Photo: MFA)

READ: Coronavirus outbreak: Singapore raises DORSCON level to orange; schools to suspend inter-school, external activities

READ: What you need to know about additional precautionary measures under DORSCON Orange

On Friday, Singapore raised the DORSCON level following several cases of novel coronavirus without any links to previous cases or travel history to mainland China. 

On Saturday, the Ministry of Health confirmed seven new cases of the novel coronavirus, taking the total number of cases in Singapore to 40. Two of the new cases involved a taxi driver and a private-hire car driver.

Of the 40 confirmed cases, four are in critical condition, with one requiring additional oxygen support. Two have since been discharged, MOH said. 

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Source: CNA/ic(aj)

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