The latest Coronavirus epidemic trudges on…
It is all over the news now – since the first recorded case in Wuhan on 31 December last year, with the first reported death on 11 January, there have since been 17 known deaths and 571 confirmed cases as of 23 January. The respiratory virus, currently known as the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), is believed by the Chinese authorities to have originated from a seafood market in Wuhan, which have vendors selling a range of animal products such as civets, crocodiles, snakes, and the like. The vendors have since been closed down.
Over the past few days, cases have been springing up across major cities in the world. Dr. Wang Guangfa from Beijing, who researched SARS back in 2003, was quarantined after conducting investigations in Wuhan. In the United States, a man in his thirties from Washington was confirmed to have contracted the virus. The Ministry of Health in Singapore very recently confirmed the first case of a 66-year-old man, having flown over to Singapore with his family from Wuhan. Officials in the UK are waiting for the test results of suspected cases across cities such as Edinburgh and Glasgow. Other cases have been reported in Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. Three Chinese cities are now in a lockdown: Wuhan, Ezhou, and Huanggang.
What now, in Singapore?
Ministries in Singapore have already begun to act. The Ministry of Health has advised the public against non-essential travels to Wuhan, and for Singaporeans to exercise proper hygiene and caution when travelling to the rest of China. The Ministry of Social and Family Development have given out advisories to preschools and student care services.
Readers are advised to remain updated on the status of the epidemic, to likewise observe hygienic practices, and ensure that their loved ones are safe.