Latest updates on COVID-19

Latest updates on CoVid-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019)

“Does this virus have pandemic potential? Absolutely, it has. Are we there yet? From our assessment, not yet,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said (24th February 2020).

He explained that the decision to use the word “pandemic” is based on an ongoing assessment of the geographical spread of the virus, the severity of disease it causes, and the impact on society.

“For the moment, we are not witnessing the uncontained global spread of this virus, and we are not witnessing large-scale severe disease or death”, he said, adding that what is occurring is coronavirus epidemics in different parts of the world, which are affecting countries differently.

A pneumonia outbreak was reported in Wuhan (China) last December 2019. On 31st December 2019, the outbreak was traced to a novel strain of coronavirus, which was given the interim name 2019-nCoV by the World Health Organization (WHO), later renamed CoVid-19. Today, the virus has spread from China to at least 40 countries around the world, with more than 80,000 reported cases.

Human to human transmission of the virus is primarily thought to occur among close contacts via respiratory droplets generated by sneezing and coughing, reason why it has been highly recommended to take special care of the personal hygiene, wash our hands frequently and don’t touch our faces.


CoVid-19 in Singapore

“We are vulnerable, but we have to do everything that we can to contain that spread of the virus,” said Lawrence Wong, co-chair of Singapore’s task force on the coronavirus.

In Singapore, the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) was elevated to ORANGE LEVEL* last Friday February 7th, what means that the disease is severe and spreads easily from person to person, but disease has not spread widely in Singapore and it is being contained.  At this point, panic started among the citizens and it was Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong who calmed the people with a video, noting that Singapore is much better prepared to deal with the new coronavirus because of its experience tackling the severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) 17 years ago; he also pointed out that “fear and panic can do more harm than the virus itself”.

The Government is being very clear, efficient and transparent, as well as strict with the prevention measures, and they have been publishing every day from the first reported case in the country the number of new cases, new patients discharged, total confirmed cases and total discharged.

As of 27th February 2020 at 12pm, the data published in Singapore are as follow:

Number of hospitalised patients: 30

Discharged: 66

Total confirmed cases: 96


Latest health advisory from the Ministry Of Health (MOH) is:

Singaporeans are advised to defer all travel to Hubei Province in China and non-essential travel to the following areas:

  • Mainland China;
  • Daegu city, South Korea; and
  • Cheongdo county, South Korea.

Given the evolving situation, Singaporeans who need to travel to the affected areas are advised to regularly check MOH’s website for updates. They should also check the immigration and health requirements of the countries they are going to.

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 travellers have a fever or respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, shortness of breath), they should wear a mask and call the clinic ahead of the visit.

Travellers and members of the public should adopt the following precautions at all times:

  • Avoid consumption of raw or undercooked meats;
  • Avoid crowded places and close contact with people who are unwell or showing symptoms of illness;
  • Observe good personal hygiene;
  • Practise frequent hand washing with soap (e.g. before handling food or eating, after going to toilet, or when hands are dirtied by respiratory secretions after coughing or sneezing);
  • Wear a mask if you have respiratory symptoms such as a cough or runny nose;
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue paper when coughing or sneezing, and dispose the soiled tissue paper in the rubbish bin immediately; and
  • Seek medical attention promptly if you are feeling unwell.


Following MOH recommendations on CoVid-19 from the SpanishCham SG

From the Spanish Chamber of Commerce, we are closely monitoring the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Singapore Ministry of Health (MOH) for guidance on the proper protocols and procedures, so we have also implemented the required policies to safeguard the health and well-being of everyone around the Chamber.


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