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Second flight bringing Singaporeans from Wuhan lands; medical screening and quarantine for 174 passengers

Second flight bringing Singaporeans from Wuhan lands; medical screening and quarantine for 174 passengers

Officers from Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) assisting returning Singaporeans and their family members at Wuhan Tianhe International Airport. (Photo: MFA)

SINGAPORE: A second flight bringing Singaporeans and their family members back from Wuhan, Hubei landed at Changi Airport on Sunday morning (Feb 9).

There were 174 Singaporeans and their family members on the flight, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in its statement on Sunday, adding that its Consular Officers and medical personnel accompanied the Scoot flight to facilitate the operations.

"The returning passengers will undergo medical screening upon arrival at Changi Airport," the statement added.

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

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

Those with fever or respiratory symptoms will be taken to designated hospitals for further examination, while the remaining passengers will be quarantined for 14 days.

"The Singapore Government expresses its appreciation to the PRC government, Hubei provincial government, Wuhan city government, and the PRC Embassy in Singapore for facilitating their safe return," the MFA said in the statement.

The flight also brought some Chinese nationals back home to Wuhan, it added.

Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan welcomed the passengers on the flight in a Facebook post.

"The MFA crisis response team, medical personnel, pilots, and crew of Scoot TR5121 who volunteered for this operation deserve our deepest admiration for their courage and sense of duty. They exemplify the best of humanity in tough times," he said. 

In a separate post, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat also welcomed the passengers and reiterated that Singapore will "work closely" with China and the international community to overcome the global challenge. 

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

Scoot flight TR5120 departed from Singapore on Saturday afternoon.

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

On Saturday night, Singapore confirmed seven new cases of novel coronavirus, including a taxi driver and a private-hire car driver, taking the country's tally to 40.

Of the confirmed cases, four are in critical condition, with one requiring additional oxygen support. 

Two have been discharged, and the remaining are mostly "stable or improving", said the Ministry of Health (MOH) in a press release.

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

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

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.

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. 

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Source: CNA/mn


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