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Jakarta Post

Singapore remains open for business, despite COVID-19: Envoy

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, March 3, 2020   /   06:28 am
Singapore remains open for business, despite COVID-19: Envoy A woman wearing a protective mask rides an escalator connected to a Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) train station in Singapore on Feb. 10. Last week, the country raised its disease response level to the same grade used during the SARS epidemic as it braced for what Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong called a “major test for our nation”. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg (Bloomberg/SeongJoon Cho)

Amid heightened fears about the global spread of the novel coronavirus, Singapore has said it remains open for business and that it has put effective measures in place to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, the disease resulting from the virus.

Singapore's ambassador to Indonesia Anil Kumar Nayar said that from an economic standpoint, a complete lockdown of the country was impossible and cooperation between countries in the region was needed to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

"I have to emphasize that Singapore is safe as far as COVID-19 is concerned. Our Indonesian friends who have business in Singapore, who would like to visit Singapore, please continue to do so," Kumar Nayar said at a press briefing on Monday in Jakarta.

Kumar Nayar said that authorities in Singapore would be strict about border control for inbound travelers and would pay closer attention to those who had travel histories to places that had seen an outbreak of the coronavirus, like China and South Korea.

Authorities in Singapore have also enacted measures to quarantine those who recently traveled from areas of coronavirus outbreak like Wuhan in China and Daegu in South Korea.

"We give a stay-at-home notice to people coming back to Singapore from those places. This is strictly enforced and we can deport or ban the entry of people who refuse to comply," Kumar Nayar said.

As of March 1, Singapore has confirmed 106 cases of COVID-19. A total of 74 patients have been discharged from the hospital, while seven are still in critical condition and under intensive care.

Singapore has raised the Disease Outbreak Response (DORSCON) level to orange, a move that has allowed authorities to contain the spread of coronavirus.

The country has also stepped up its cooperation with other countries and bodies in the region to prevent the spread of the disease, including the World Health Organization and Indonesia.

"We worked closely with the WHO and countries in the region. There's no point in lying because panic can be created from fake news and hoaxes," Kumar Nayar said.