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Kash Cheong
Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014

Singapore

Ebola screening measures stepped up at Changi Airport

The Straits Times | Kash Cheong | Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014

SINGAPORE - New measures will be introduced at Changi Airport at noon today to screen incoming travellers for Ebola.

Nationals and travellers from countries with reported Ebola virus disease activity - Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Senegal and the Democratic Republic of Congo - will be directed to a screening station to get their temperature checked, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said yesterday.

They will be required to answer a questionnaire on exposure to Ebola and fill in a health declaration card, which will include their contact details in Singapore.

Travellers who are cleared will be directed to the duty desk at the arrival hall, where they will clear immigration control.

The new measures follow the detection of Ebola cases in the United States and Spain, which show that an imported case and the potential for community exposure from imported cases cannot be ruled out, MOH said.

Ebola has killed more than 4,000 people in West Africa since an outbreak started this year.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said yesterday that the number of cases in three West African nations may jump to between 5,000 and 10,000 a week by Dec 1, as the deadly viral infection spreads. The outbreak is still expanding geographically in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, Dr Bruce Aylward, the WHO's assistant director- general in charge of the Ebola response, said in a briefing with reporters in Geneva.

With the new measures at Changi Airport, passengers screened and found to have a fever will be transported in an appropriate ambulance to Tan Tock Seng Hospital for further medical assessment, said MOH.

Travellers who are well but who are identified as having possible exposure to Ebola virus infection will be quarantined or put under surveillance, depending on the risk assessment.

MOH has also reminded all Singapore hospitals to be vigilant against possible suspect cases.

Singapore's public hospitals have the appropriate infection control measures in place, said MOH.

Before travelling to West or Central Africa, members of the public are encouraged to refer to MOH's travel advisory, which can be found online.


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