Taiwan raises travel advisories for Singapore, HK, Macau, Thailand as coronavirus cases climb

Singapore confirms 45 cases of coronavirus, Thailand 32, Hong Kong 42, Macau 10

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Health Minister Chen Shih-chung.

Health Minister Chen Shih-chung.

Taiwan (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control has raised its travel advisories for Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, and Thailand as the novel coronavirus (2019-nCov), which has taken more than 1,000 lives in China alone, continues to spread in those countries and regions.

Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon (Feb. 11) that Hong Kong and Macau had been placed under a “warning" travel advisory. He asked citizens to avoid all non-essential trips to the two cities, as they face a heightened risk of community spread of the new virus.

So far, Hong Kong has confirmed 42 cases of coronavirus infection, while Macau has recorded 10 such cases. Taiwan’s entry ban on all Hong Kong and Macau residents, with the exception off spouses and their minors and those traveling for business purposes, went into effect on Tuesday.

Taiwan’s medical authorities have issued a travel “alert” for Singapore and put Thailand under a "watch" advisory, asking citizens to mind their health while traveling there. Singapore has reported 45 coronavirus cases as of Tuesday, and the number of confirmed cases in Thailand has climbed to 32.

A total of 45 coronavirus cases for a country with a population of five million is alarming, said Chen, referring to Singapore. The city-state has maintained a relatively loose border control policy due to its commercial and logistic needs, he added.

Chen advised the public to avoid flying recently, as passengers in cabins lacking ventilation have a much higher risk of contracting infectious diseases. Those who travel by air are advised to wear a face mask throughout their flight, he said.