MOH has been closely watching the Ebola situation, including developments in Spain and the United States. These show that an imported case and the potential for community exposure from imported cases cannot be ruled out.

2              With these increasing developments, Singapore intends to step up additional screening measures at arrival halls in Singapore Changi Airport with effect from 15 Oct, 12 noon.  Nationals and travellers from countries with reported Ebola Virus Disease activity (currently Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Senegal and Democratic Republic of Congo) will be directed to a screening station, where they will be screened for temperature and exposure to Ebola through a questionnaire. There will be signs at the airport to direct them to the screening stations.

3              These passengers will be required to fill in the Health Declaration Card, which will include their contact details in Singapore.  Travellers who are cleared will then be directed to the duty desk at the arrival hall, where they will clear immigration control.  Those who are found to have a fever will be transported in an appropriate ambulance transport to Tan Tock Seng Hospital for further medical assessment. 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.

4              Aside from Singapore Changi Airport, the Health Declaration Card will also be implemented at land and sea checkpoints, as well as at Seletar Airport.

5              In addition, MOH has reminded all hospitals about the importance of vigilance against possible suspect cases and strict infection control practices, when managing suspect or confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease.

6              Our public hospitals have in place the appropriate infection control measures. Suspect cases are triaged at emergency departments, and as a precaution, isolated from other patients to minimise any risk of transmission.  Measures are in place to carry out contact tracing and quarantine of all close contacts, if there is an imported case in Singapore.

7              Before travelling to West or Central Africa, members of the public are encouraged to refer to the MOH web page on Ebola for the latest Health Advisory. They should consider postponing travel to countries with reported Ebola Virus Disease activity , if it is non-essential. Persons who need to travel are advised to adopt the necessary precautions, which includes the following:

·        Practise frequent hand washing (e.g. after going to toilet, or when hands are soiled); when soap and running water are unavailable, an alcohol-based hand rub can be used instead. The virus is not hardy and can easily be destroyed by such disinfectants.

·        Avoid direct contact with blood or other body fluids of infected living or dead persons or animals, as well as objects that may have become contaminated with these infectious fluids, such as soiled clothing, bed sheets, or used needles;

·        Avoid participating in burial ceremonies which require direct contact with the body of a deceased infected person.

·        Avoid contact with wild animals, including bats, monkeys, apes, chimpanzee and gorillas, whether alive or dead, including their raw or undercooked meat;

·        Returning travellers from countries with reported Ebola Virus Disease activity or travellers who suspect that they have been exposed to Ebola virus should seek immediate medical attention, if they develop any disease symptoms (i.e. sudden onset of high fever, stomach pains, diarrhoea, vomiting, rash or bleeding) within 3 weeks of their return. They should inform their doctor of their recent travel or contact history.

8          MOH continues to maintain close contact with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and our overseas counterparts to monitor the situation closely and ensure that public health is safeguarded. 

14 OCTOBER 2014