Wuhan virus: ICA to implement temperature screening at Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints
SINGAPORE - All travellers at Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints will have to undergo temperature screening from Friday (Jan 24) at noon, in light of the Wuhan virus outbreak and the large number of travellers expected to cross the border into Malaysia over the festive weekend.
The Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said that all travellers arriving at the two checkpoints will have their temperature taken by healthcare assistants, and suspected cases will be sent to hospitals for further tests.
"This is in response to the novel coronavirus pneumonia development in Wuhan and exported cases to other cities and countries, coupled with the anticipated increase in travel volume in the lead up to the Lunar New Year holiday period," said the ICA in a news release on Friday morning.
Latest reports said 25 people have died as a result of the virus outbreak in China, where more than 800 people have been infected.
On Thursday, Singapore confirmed its first case of the Wuhan virus. A 66-year-old man from Wuhan who had arrived on the island on Monday had tested positive for it. He is now kept in isolation in hospital.
The authorities said another 53-year-old woman from China was also suspected to have contracted the virus.
Both suspected and confirmed cases have also surfaced in Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Macau, Thailand, Vietnam and the United States.
The ICA said those travelling in buses between Singapore and Malaysia will be screened at the alighting bus concourse or bus hall before immigration counters. Bus drivers will be screened at the security check area.
Those taking the train will have their temperature taken at the alighting platform before going through immigration.
Before reaching the immigration counters, travellers in cars will have to wind down their windows to have their temperature taken, and those on motorcycles will have to remove their helmets.
Travellers in lorries will be screened at the cargo platforms in the checkpoints or at the immigration counters.
ICA said that arrival traffic is expected to be heavy from Saturday to next Tuesday, and delays are expected as it implements temperature screening measures at both checkpoints.
The ICA added that it has put up health advisories at both checkpoints to advise travellers on the precautionary measures to take when travelling to or arriving from China.
"Given the evolving situation and ongoing investigations in China, Singapore residents who need to travel to the affected areas are advised to regularly check MOH's website (www.moh.gov.sg) for updates," said the ICA.
"Travellers to China are also advised to stay vigilant, monitor developments and heed the advice of the local Chinese authorities while in China," it added.
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.