The threat of coronavirus as a global concern is the trending topic today giving rise to myths, taboos, and uncontained panic. While the rumours and myths deviate from reality, speculations are plenty. The coronavirus impact on travel sector starting with China (Asia), Italy (Europe), Iran (the Middle East) and the US is in the making of a global pandemic. But amidst this chaos and coronavirus-induced panic, Singapore stands alone as the one country, which has successfully managed the containment of COVID-19.
Coronavirus Impact on Travel Sector: Singapore Coronavirus Case Study
While the market forecasts are predicted based on previous data, the same cannot be true this year. Thus, we aim to provide you with accurate numbers of coronavirus case studies month after month. The collective objective is to furnish regular updates on coronavirus in Singapore 2020.
According to the Singapore Tourism Board, 18.5 million international visitors arrivals in Singapore was noted in 2018. And, in 2019, an increase of 6.2% with 19.1 million international tourist arrivals in Singapore.
The month that stirred the coronavirus panic worldwide, January 2020 witnessed a total of 1,365,491 tourist arrivals in Singapore compared to 1,210,572 tourist arrivals in December 2019.
Singapore Achieves Containment of COVID-19?
Singapore was also one of those countries hit by the coronavirus outbreak. But, due to Singapore’s ‘all-of-government approach‘, the COVID-19 epidemic was contained. Let’s take a look at the coronavirus timeline in Singapore.
According to Worldometer, Singapore reported a total of 150 coronavirus cases of which, 90 have recovered.
It is safe to say, the collective effort of the government of Singapore, the COVID-19 is contained. Although Singapore has not managed to eradicate coronavirus, there are no new cases.
In fact, in a press conference on 9th March 2020, the Director-General of WHO commended Singapore for its all-of-government approach. This is one of the elements or recommendations suggested by WHO to collectively combat the coronavirus epidemic.
The Fundamental Elements to Implement Containment of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of WHO stated the fundamental elements or global response to the coronavirus epidemic. He suggested the following;
- Emergency response mechanisms
- Risk communications and public engagement
- Case finding and contact tracing
- Public health measures
- Laboratory testing
- Treating patients and hospital readiness
- Infection prevention and control
- And an all-of-society and all-of-government approach
Public health measures including and not limited to hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, and social distancing.
While Singapore is implementing the ‘all-of-government approach’, China, Italy, North Korea, Japan, etc. are actively undertaking emergency measures.
How has Singapore managed the containment of coronavirus?
According to the coronavirus case studies in Singapore, the government has rather been aggressive in their approach to neutralising the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are some of the strategies implemented by the Singapore government. Source
Apart from these travel restrictions, the government of Singapore has also imposed a strict quarantine regimen at hospitals and homes. In fact, Singapore also launched and text and web-based app on 1oth Feb 2020 for individuals subject to home quarantine. These individuals may report their location to the government through this web-based software.
Singapore was prepared for COVID-19 epidemic?
While this may not be true, Singapore’s previous experience with the SARS outbreak of 2003 and H1N1 in 2010 may be the likely reasons.
Previously, SARS resulted in 33 deaths and 400,000 were infected with H1N1 in Singapore. These incidents prompted the Singapore government to establish quarantine facilities and a national centre for managing infectious diseases with a 330-bed capacity.
Coronavirus Update: Singapore
As of 9th March 2020, out of the 67 active cases in Singapore 57 are stable while 10 are critical. Source: Ministry of Health, Singapore
Coronavirus Measures in Singapore
Apart from strict measures at the airport restricting foreign nationals to enter Singapore. these are some of the other coronavirus measures.
Mandatory Leave of Absence for Singaporeans
A mandatory 14-day period of paid leave-of-absence from the day of arrival in Singapore. And this is exclusive of their annual leave entitlement.
Advisories issued by the Ministry of Health
The Ministry of Health, Singapore has advised staff of the healthcare sector to avoid contact with live animals including poultry and birds. They have recommended avoidance of raw and undercooked meats consumption.
An advisory has been specifically rolled out to schools across Singapore imploring to adopt preventive measures like suspending school assemblies, etc.
Entry Restrictions on Work Pass Holders
Prior approval from the Ministry of Manpower preceding 14-days is mandatory for work pass holders planning to enter Singapore after travelling in Mainland China, South Korea, Italy and Iran.
Joint Working Groups with Malaysia
A joint working group (JWG) with Malaysia to tackle coronavirus was announced by the Singapore government.
Coronavirus Economic Impact on Singapore
China is Singapore’s biggest trading partner. That being said, a major impact on the Singapore economy is expected with the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
Singapore annual budget 2020 was proposed on 18th February 2020. According to which, Singapore announced S$4bn ($2.87bn) in a Stabilisation and Support Package. This is a measure to safeguard the economy from the chaos and uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Singapore budget 2020 also proposed an allocation of S$1.6bn to support the livelihood of the coronavirus infected persons. Apart from this, S$800 million to be allocated in a bid to support the front-line agencies, which are tackling the coronavirus cases.