Singapore raises coronavirus outbreak alert to Orange

Farrer Park Primary School pupils during a temperature-checking exercise on Feb 7, 2020. - ST

SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/ANN): Singapore has moved up its response to the coronavirus outbreak to Code Orange because of "heightened risk", said the Ministry of Health (MOH).

This is because there are now four cases of infection with no known links to China or people already infected, which means the disease may be spreading in the community.

It is only the second time Singapore has activated Code Orange. The first was for swine flu (H1N1) in 2009. The coding system was set up after SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) in 2003. The outbreak then would also have been Orange, had the classification existed.

Under the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition or Dorscon, Orange means the outbreak is deemed to have moderate to high public health impact.

With Singapore now in Code Orange, MOH said on Friday (Feb 7) that it is introducing additional measures "to minimise the risk of further transmission of the virus in the community".

The emphasis will now be on "aggressively trying to stop or limit further spread", according to MOH's pandemic readiness and preparedness plan. - The Straits Times/Asia News Network

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