SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Saturday (Feb 1) confirmed two additional imported cases of the Wuhan coronavirus, bringing the total to 18 cases.
Both cases have recent travel history to Wuhan and there is currently no evidence of community spread in Singapore, MOH added.
"The two new cases are stable currently, and we are continuing to monitor their health. As for the 16 previously announced cases, none is critically ill. All of them remain in stable condition, and most are improving," MOH said.
The 17th case is a 47-year-old female Singapore citizen who travelled to Wuhan.
"She was one of the Singaporeans evacuated from Wuhan on Jan 30, and arrived in Singapore on the same day. She was asymptomatic when she boarded the flight.
"Upon arrival at Changi Airport, she was found to have a fever during medical screening, and was conveyed to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID)," MOH said.
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The woman then tested positive for Wuhan coronavirus infection on Jan 31 at about 11pm. She is currently warded in an isolation room at NCID.
The 18th case is a 31-year-old female Chinese national who arrived in Singapore from Wuhan on Jan 22.
She tested positive for infection on Feb 1 at about 2pm and is currently warded in an isolation room at NCID.
MOH said that it has initiated epidemiological investigations and contact tracing to identify individuals who had close contact with the cases.
In an update on the 16th confirmed case, which was announced on Jan 31, MOH said the 38-year-old male Chinese national arrived in Singapore from Wuhan on Jan 22.
He is currently warded in an isolation room at the Singapore General Hospital. The man reported that he was asymptomatic during his flight to Singapore and subsequently developed symptoms on Jan 23.
He reported that he had stayed at his home at Nathan Road until Jan 29, when he took a taxi to SGH. He was classified as a suspect case and immediately isolated.
Subsequent test results confirmed 2019-nCoV infection on Jan 31 at about 2pm, MOH said.
As of 12pm on Feb 1, MOH said 231 of the suspect cases have tested negative for the Wuhan coronavirus.
Test results for the remaining 25 cases are pending and contact tracing for the confirmed cases is ongoing.
Once identified, MOH said it will closely monitor all close contacts and quarantine them for 14 days from their last exposure to the patient as a precautionary measure.
All other identified contacts who have a low risk of being infected will be under active surveillance, and will be contacted daily to monitor their health status.
So far, MOH said it has identified 245 close contacts. Of the 177 who are still in Singapore, 172 have been contacted and are being quarantined or isolated. Efforts are ongoing to contact the remaining five close contacts.
MOH also advised Singaporeans to defer all travel to Hubei province and all non-essential travel to mainland China.
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"All travellers should monitor their health closely for two weeks upon return to Singapore and seek medical attention promptly if they feel unwell.
"Travellers should inform their doctor of their travel history. If they have a fever or respiratory symptoms (eg. cough, shortness of breath), they should wear a mask and call the clinic ahead of the visit," MOH said.
MOH added that it will continue to monitor the situation closely.
"As medical practitioners are on the lookout for cases with pneumonia who have recently been in China, Singapore is likely to see more suspect cases that will need to be investigated."
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Singapore on Friday announced that it will widen travel restrictions to include all new visitors with recent travel history to China.
China also said it will send charter planes to bring home citizens from Hubei who are overseas "as soon as possible".
The announcement came as a number of airlines, including Singapore Airlines and Scoot, announced they were halting or reducing flights to China as the country tackles the spread of the virus.
In a bid to contain the possible spread of the virus, a total of 967 students and employees from schools in Singapore have been placed on leave of absence because of their recent travel history to China.
On Saturday, authorities began distributing packs of four surgical masks for each Singapore household. There have been long queues for masks at pharmacies and retailers across the country.
Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing on Thursday reassured people that Singapore will have enough masks, provided the supply is managed "appropriately".