Some Singaporeans are still stranded in Wuhan after 92 evacuated
The few still stranded there may have to be quarantined: Minister
While 92 Singaporeans stuck in Wuhan were flown back to Singapore yesterday, some still remain stranded at ground zero.
National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said there is a small number of Singaporeans who have shown symptoms of the Wuhan virus yet to be brought home.
Some of them were not able to board the plane back to Singapore, he added, and "it is probably not safe for them to come back on the same plane".
Mr Wong, co-chair of the multi-ministry committee overseeing the Wuhan virus crisis, added that some of them might have to stay quarantined in China. "Our embassy is in touch with them to ensure their welfare," he said.
In a statement yesterday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said: "In a telephone call with PRC State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan expressed the Singapore Government's appreciation to the PRC government, Hubei provincial government, Wuhan city government and the PRC Embassy in Singapore for facilitating the safe return of these Singaporeans."
MFA said the returning Singaporeans will undergo a medical screening upon arrival at Changi Airport. Those with fever or respiratory symptoms will be taken to designated hospitals for further examination.
The remaining passengers, including the MFA consular officers who facilitated the return, will be quarantined for 14 days.
The evacuation of the Singaporeans comes after Scoot arranged for a flight on Wednesday to fly back some Wuhan residents stuck in Singapore.
A Scoot spokesman said the flight departed Singapore at 10.20pm on Wednesday and landed at Wuhan Tianhe International Airport at about 3am yesterday. The return flight that carried the Singaporeans landed at about 11.40am yesterday.
The spokesman said measures were taken to ensure the safety of the passengers and crew on the flight.
Temperature screening was conducted at check-in and before boarding. Surgical masks were provided to all passengers while all operating crew were required to wear N95 masks and surgical gloves.
The flight operated with limited in-flight service where there was no distribution of food and beverage, or the sale of duty-free products. Instead, food packs were pre-placed on the seats.The aircraft was also disinfected in Wuhan before boarding commenced, as well as upon arrival in Singapore.
Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said in a Facebook post yesterday that the trip to evacuate the Singaporeans came as a result of work by the MFA, Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, Changi Airport Group, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, and Ministry of Health.
National Trades Union Congress secretary-general Ng Chee Meng praised the flight crew that volunteered to bring Singaporeans back from Wuhan.
"It warmed my heart to know that when Scoot management asked for volunteers to staff a flight to Wuhan Tianhe International Airport, there were more volunteers than was needed," he said in a Facebook post.