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20 Feb 2020 | 03:43 AM UTC

Saudi Arabia: Government advises citizens to avoid non-essential travel to Singapore February 19 /update 3

Saudi government advises all citizens to avoid non-essential travel to Singapore on February 19; follow government directives



On Wednesday, February 19, the Saudi National Center for Disease Prevention and Control has advised its citizens to avoid non-essential traveling to Singapore due to the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The advice comes, "given the persistence of cases of coronavirus infection in Singapore."

As of Thursday, February 20, there are currently 84 cases reported in Singapore, the highest outside of China. None have been reported in Saudi Arabia.

On Thursday, February 6, the Saudi government announced it would bar its nationals and residents from traveling to China to limit the spread of the novel COVID-19. It stated that citizens who do not observe the policy would face consequences, and residents will not be permitted to enter the country.


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in 30 countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On February 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the COVID-19 outbreak is a "very grave threat."

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.


Potentially impacted travelers are advised to monitor the situation, confirm travel itineraries, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.

To reduce the general risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
  • When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue - throw tissue away immediately and wash hands
  • If you have fever, cough, and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider
  • Adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments

In the case that symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness emerge either during or after travel, travelers are encouraged to seek medical attention and share their travel history with their health care provider. Travelers returning from China who develop symptoms of pneumonia are advised to call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to avoid potential spread of the disease.

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