Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Saturday said that fear can do more damage than the spreading of coronavirus. The comment from the Prime Minister came a day after the country raised its alert level to orange, prompting citizens to stock up food and other essential supplies. Prime Minister urged people not to panic and said that the country is not locking down its residents or confining everybody to stay at home.
Prime Minister Lee further added that if the number of cases grew and the fatality rate stayed low, the government may encourage people to stay at home as this would allow health officials to focus more on vulnerable patients. Singapore has so far reported 33 cases of coronavirus infections and in some cases, the patients had no previous travel history to China. Singapore is evacuating its citizens from Wuhan and it was reported that a second flight was expected to arrive on Sunday carrying Singaporeans.
Five British nationals including a child had been diagnosed with the deadly disease in France, French health officials reported on Saturday. The family was reportedly staying in the same ski chalet with a person who had been to Singapore recently. The United Kingdom has included Singapore in the list of countries from which returning travellers should self-quarantine themselves for up to 14 days. Kuwait has also asked its citizens not to travel to Singapore.
According to the latest media reports, the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus has claimed more than 800 lives in China alone and the confirmed reported cases have reached up to 34,000 as of February 9. The disease is believed to have originated in a seafood market in Hubei's Wuhan city, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, where animals were reportedly being traded illegally. As per US CDC, confirmed cases of the virus have been reported in 27 other countries.