(Singapore, Jan 30, 2020) Due to the fast spread of the coronavirus in China,  92 Singaporeans, accompanied by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs consular officers, have returned to Singapore from Wuhan, Hubei Province via Scoot flight TR121 this morning,  the MFA has announced.

MFA says the returning Singaporeans will undergo medical screening upon arrival at Changi Airport. Those with fever or respiratory symptoms will be taken to designated hospitals for further examination, while the remaining passengers, including the MFA Consular Officers, will be quarantined for 14 days.  

Foreign Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, in a telephone call with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi yesterday, expressed the Singapore Government’s appreciation to the PRC government, Hubei provincial government, Wuhan city government, and the PRC Embassy in Singapore for facilitating the safe return of these Singaporeans.

So far, with three new cases of Wuhan coronavirus infection in Singapore which were confirmed yesterday, the total number of cases has reached ten, according to the Health Ministry. Like the previous cases, all three are Chinese nationals from Wuhan, and there has been no evidence of the virus spreading in the community yet.

In China, according to China’s National Health Commission,  the country’s total number of deaths from the coronavirus has risen by 38 to 170 as of end-Wednesday.

Li Haiyang (L), director of the Affiliated Hospital of Guizhou Medical University, presents a greeting card to a cured patient (C) in Guiyang, southwest China’s Guizhou Province, Jan. 29, 2020. The patient, who was the first diagnosed novel coronavirus case in Guizhou, got cured and discharged from hospital on Wednesday. Source: Xinhua

Thirty-seven of the new deaths came in Hubei province, the epicenter of a contagion that is causing global spread. One occurred in southwestern Sichuan province.

Overall, the commission said in a statement there were 7,711 confirmed cases as of end-Wednesday, including more than 1,700 infected patients who were confirmed yesterday.

Although the majority of cases have been in Hubei, cases have been reported elsewhere including 15 other countries.

The World Health Organisation’s Emergency Committee says it will reconvene behind closed doors in Geneva later on Thursday to decide whether the rapid spread of the virus now constitutes a global emergency.