Singapore ceased port calls for all cruise vessels and will bar the entry and transit of visitors with recent travel history to Italy, France, Spain and Germany. New York City declared a state of emergency, bringing the financial and cultural capital of the US to a standstill.
French President Emmanuel Macron called the coronavirus the epidemic of the century and the leading US infectious-disease official said America’s testing system is failing, as the death toll from the coronavirus approached 5,000. Walt Disney Co shut its theme parks in Florida, California and Paris. Justin Trudeau’s wife Sophie tested positive for the coronavirus, as the Canadian prime minister placed himself in self-isolation.
The city-state said it will cease port calls for all cruise vessels with immediate effect and bar the entry and transit of visitors with recent travel history to Italy, France, Spain and Germany. The temporary border restrictions for the European countries will come into effect from March 15, the health ministry said in a statement. They will be reviewed regularly based on the global situation, it said. Singaporeans were also advised to defer all non-essential travel to the four European countries as they “have had very high numbers of cases and very high rates of increase”, according to the government. They should exercise caution when traveling to all countries affected by the outbreak, including Indonesia, the Philippines and the United Kingdom, it said. In addition, all ticketed cultural, sports and entertainment events, with 250 participants or more, are to be deferred or cancelled, the government said.
In an address to the nation on Thursday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that while he expects more imported cases, the situation in Singapore remains under control. He also assured citizens that the government wasn’t going to lock down the city but would take steps to help firms and workers weather the economic fallout from the outbreak.