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Impact of Swine flu outbreak on Singapore tourism


The World Health Organization has raised an alert for the global outbreak of a serious disease, human swine influenza in Mexico. Reports say that although the disease occurred in Mexico, it had infected over 40 people in the United States.
First Case of Swine Flu Reported
The Singapore Government had announced plans to quarantine travelers from Mexico with effect from May 4. No case of swine flu was confirmed before May 26, 2009. During that period, the Monetary Authority of Singapore declared that the recovery of the domestic economy subsequently depends on external developments, taking into account the recent outbreak of swine influenza, which has added a new dimension to the risk outlook. Singapore reported its first case of Swine flu on May 26. It has been confirmed by the Ministry of Health that a 22-year-old woman of Singapore who was returning from New York has been tested positive for swine flu. It is the first case of influenza A(H1N1). This woman is being treated at a communicable disease center and at present in a stable condition. The woman remained in New York from May 14-24, after that she returned on a Singapore Airlines flight on May 26. While in the flight she had developed a cough, which made the authorities alert and she was taken for examination. The health ministry further commented that whoever came in close contact with her will be quarantined and provided with antiviral medication.

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New cases of Swine Flu in Singapore
About 49 cases of Swine flu have been confirmed in Singapore as reported by Singapore's Health Ministry. A 56-year-old German man is one of the newly confirmed patients. He works in Singapore and came back from United States on 8th June. He developed symptoms of swine flu on 4th June. Another recent Swine flu case confirmed is a 26 year old Indonesian man who returned from Melbourne on 14th June and works in Singapore. About six patients among the latest seven swine flu cases are Singaporeans and the other one is an Australian girl who is six years old. The Health Ministry said that the latest imported swine flu cases have involved themselves in a number of community activities like shopping, working etc since their arrival. Some of them came to Singapore inspite of being aware of the fact that they were unwell. Such things tend to increase the difficulty of contact tracing. The first Swine flu case in Singapore was reported on 26th May and till now about 22 patients have been discharged and 27 patients are in the hospital with stable conditions.
Swine Flu Drive launched by HPB
Singapore's Health Promotion Board has launched a DDB-developed print and outdoor drive for increasing awareness regarding personal hygiene among the people of Singapore as the H1N1 cases continue to rise in Singapore. The latest ads of HPB focus on the importance of washing hands as it prevents the spread of the disease. The eye-catching visuals make the Singaporeans imbue a sense of urgency and take proper action. In trains, public-toilets and hotels, the 'Monster hand campaign' is also visible. This ad was designed to convey the invisible germs on your hand.
Precautionary measures implemented in Singapore:

Swine flu epidemic control measures in Singapore have been implemented by the several healthcare institutions. The healthcare centres have stepped up in handling the situation in Singapore by taking up the cases turning up. The staffs of these healthcare departments have been asked to adapt complete Personal Protective Equipment. The Health Ministry in Singapore have set up the system of keeping the symptomatic patients or those who are in contact with them, fully isolated within the hospitals. Citizens of the country have been advised to maintain personal hygiene all the time and to avoid non-essential trip to Mexico.
Impact of Swine Flu outbreak on Singapore tourism:
The swine flu outbreak in Mexico and US has badly hit the tourism and airline stocks in Singapore. Although the pharmaceutical and healthcare stocks have rose due to the sudden outbreak of this disease. Analysts say that the pace with which the swine flu spreads is likely to affect the markets more. As the Health Ministry in Singapore have advised the people to ignore or postpone the non-essential travel to Mexico, it will also affect the airlines sector in Singapore.
The swine flu outbreak has the potential to paralyze the tourism industry in Singapore. In fact it wouldn't be wrong to say that the swine flu have erupted at a wrong time when the global travel industry is ailing. In the present situation, Singapore tourism is surely going to witness some decline in the tourism industry because of Asia's heightened sensitivity to bird flu and such related flu disease threats. The tourism industry of the most happening tourism destination of Asia that is Singapore will suffer because the health ministries of various countries have advised its citizens to avoid trips to the region where the swine flu outbreak has hit.

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