Singapore's tourism board on February said that it reportedly expecting a downfall of 25-30 per cent in visitors this year amid the deadly coronavirus outbreak that has claimed lives of 1016 people. According to reports, the country is expecting a substantial decline in Chinese visitors due to imposed travel bans to curb the spread of the virus.
Singapore Tourism Board chief executive, Keith Tan reportedly said that the current situation will be as dire as SARS or probably worse in the coming days, referring to the 2003 SARS outbreak that claimed the lives of more than 30 people in Singapore. According to reports, Tan said that the downfall in the number of Chinese visitors is due to the travel restrictions. He further added that foreign tourists from other countries were also refraining from coming to Singapore and a few even cancelled their tickets.
According to reports, the percentage of visitors arriving in Singapore rose 3.3% to 19.1 million in the year 2019 with revenue up 0.5% to $27.1 billion. The government has also said that it is expecting its economy to be hit due to the coronavirus outbreak and is planning measures to provide a support mechanism for the tourism and hospitality industry.
The current death toll for the coronavirus outbreak stands at 1016 and the number of confirmed cases is about 42,368. According to international media reports, there were 2,478 new confirmed cases in the mainland on February 10, down from 3,062 on the previous day. There are also nearly 319 cases in 24 other countries and territories, however, only two deaths have been reported outside China so far.
WHO is also convening a global research and innovation forum to mobilise international action in response to the novel coronavirus. The forum will be held on February 11-12 in Geneva which is being organised in collaboration with the Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness.
“WHO is playing an important coordinating role by bringing the scientific community together to identify research priorities and accelerate progress,” said Ghebreyesus in a statement.