SINGAPORE: Singapore’s Health Ministry has said that chances of the new SARS—like virus spreading in Singapore are low, especially since severe secondary infections among the close contacts of the cases is uncommon.
13 cases involving the novel coronavirus have been reported in the Middle East and United Kingdom since April last year.
The Health Ministry said it has not received any reports of such cases here.
It is also keeping close watch on the developments of the new virus, and working with the World Health Organisation and the international community to remain vigilant for the emergence of new cases of novel coronavirus infection.
All hospitals and clinics have been told to immediately report any suspicious cases.
This comes as Singapore remembers the SARS outbreak, which claimed 33 lives 10 years ago.
The memories remain vivid for healthcare workers who were on the front—line then.
Vasanthi Palanivelu, patient service associate at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, said: "During the SARS period, 13 of us got infected and I was one of them. One of my nursing officers has passed on. We were sad for her but we took our courage to come back together. We never had any intention of running away from the work, as we’re really proud of being healthcare workers."
Having been through the SARS outbreak in 2003 and the H1N1 pandemic in 2009, the Health Ministry said it has a whole—of—government national crisis management system in place with plans and capabilities to deal with a pandemic if one should occur.
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