Singapore on January 31 reportedly said that it was closing down entry for all those who recently travelled to China amid the coronavirus outbreak. According to reports, Singapore will also revoke visas for Chinese passport holders in an attempt to contain the viral outbreak of the disease that has claimed the lives of 258 people. According to reports, the ban will come into effect from February 1, will not be applicable to residents of Singapore and people holding work permits. Singapore has reported 16 confirmed cases of the coronavirus with all 16 people coming in from the city of Wuhan.
The World Health Organization on January 31 reportedly said that closing down borders with China could be ineffective, adding that such a decision could result in a quicker spread of the coronavirus. The viral outbreak of the disease has claimed a total of 258 lives till now and the number of confirmed cases stands at more than 10,000.
A representative of the World Health Organization, Christian Lindmeier reportedly said that with a decision such as an official shutdown of the border with China could result in countries losing track of people and a failure to monitor their movements. According to reports, numerous countries have stopped cross- border traffic with China and has banned entry for people residing in the city of Wuhan.
With the World Health Organisation declaring the Coronavirus outbreak as a global health emergency, China called for international solidarity and asked countries to avoid overreacting on the situation. The WHO had initially stated that it was not a global health emergency as the outbreak was confined to China. However, WHO updated the global risk degree from 'moderate' to 'high' and cited an error in their previous report in relation to the coronavirus.
The novel coronavirus is a new strain in the large family of coronaviruses (CoV) which was previously not identified in humans. CoV causes illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).