A woman in the service industry disinfects the premises in the wake of the Wuhan virus spread. Photo: Bernama

Wuhan Virus

SINGAPORE: Singapore is carrying out a wide range of measures to support businesses and labourers directly affected by the acute respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus (nCoV), particularly those in the tourism sector, reported VNA.

Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing said on Feb 2 that the impact of the Wuhan virus could be wider, deeper and longer than that of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic in 2003.

Although it is a little bit early to estimate economic losses, measures will be put in place to help tourism companies alleviate damage, he said.

Accordingly, Singapore will waive licence fees of between S$300 and S$500 for hotel operators for the rest of the year.

Those hotels where suspected and confirmed cases of the virus had been found have also had to do enhanced environmental cleaning and disinfection, and the Singapore Tourism Board will bear up to half the cost of such cleaning fees.

This is capped at S$20,000 per establishment with confirmed cases, and up to S$10,000 per establishment with suspected cases.

Full details of an overall package of relief measures will be announced at the national Budget 2020 on Feb 18.

The tourism sector has already been directly affected by nCoV due to a decline in visitor arrivals, especially from China. Chinese tourists account for around 20 per cent of Singapore’s total international visitor arrivals, with about 3.6 million visitors to Singapore in 2019. – Bernama

A woman in the service industry disinfects the premises in the wake of the Wuhan virus spread. Photo: Bernama