Singapore has recently decided to increase precautionary measures against the fast-spreading new Chines Coronavirus that has already claimed at least 130 lives. Students have been reportedly clearing out their dorms so that they may be turned into isolation wards for their peers.
Singapore in a statement announced that it is trying to get in contact with around 2,000 people that recently travelled to Hubei province in China. Hubei is considered by many to be the epicentre of the viral outbreak. Back in 2003, Singapore, that is a travel and tourism hub was hit hard by the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus.
Students returning from China and especially the Hubei province are being isolated and quarantined immediately upon their return. According to a UN report, students from mainland China make up the largest group of international students because they are drawn by Singapore's multiple top-ranked universities.
Local media has reported that military facilities and other structures are being prepped to be used for the purpose of isolating the infected. The authorities have also announced that the individuals that do not comply with the quarantine orders could be fined up to $10,000 or jailed for up to 6 months or both.
In the United States, major airlines including the United Airlines Holding Inc announced the cancellation of some flights to China as demand fell sharply following the recent outbreak. Many global companies also told their employees not to travel on deepening features of the flu-like virus. Meanwhile, the US government warned its citizens that they should reconsider visiting China.
Facebook was amongst the first organisations to announce a travel suspension after the US government’s warnings, asking employees to halt all non-essential travel to China and work from home if they had previously travelled.
South Korean government reportedly advised its citizens to stay away and the UK asked its people to avoid all travels which weren’t important.
LG Electronics, one of the nation’s largest appliance maker has put a complete ban on travel to China and has instructed employees who were on business trips to return home as soon as possible. South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix Inc said it was urging employees to avoid all non-essential travel to China, while banking group Standard Chartered PLC restricted travel to both mainland China and Hong Kong.