Gov Says We Must Be Prepared That The Wuhan Virus Could be Worse Than SARS


Since December when the Wuhan virus first broke out, there has been a series of mixed information regarding the virus.

At the start, China authorities assured the rest of the world that the Wuhan pneumonia outbreak was not SARS.

They said, “We have excluded several hypotheses, in particular, the fact that it is a flu, an avian flu, an adenovirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers).”

So to be extra clear, they said that this new virus isn’t Sars or Mers, according to the China Health Authorities.

For a brief second, the world breathed a sigh of relief.

Image: Giphy

And then….

Gov Says We Must Be Prepared That The Wuhan Virus Could be Worse Than SARS

There have been more than 4,000 confirmed cases of the Wuhan virus all over the world and at least 106 deaths.

There have been a total of five confirmed cases in Singapore, all of which have been imported.

The good news? The Wuhan virus is not Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

The bad news? It could be worse.

Image: Giphy

Singapore’s National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said on Monday that Singapore needs to be prepared that the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak could be worse than the SARS epidemic in 2003.

Mr Wong co-chairs a multi-ministry task force that’s at the forefront of Singapore’s response to the outbreak.

“The medical experts tell us as of now that the virus is not as infectious as SARS, (the) fatality rate is lower as of now,” he said.

However, do note that it is too early to tell how the Wuhan virus compares to SARS.

“But the situation is evolving so quickly, and as you all heard from the Chinese authorities yesterday, the virus is getting stronger, the number of infections is likely to rise.”

“So we just have to be psychologically prepared that this can get worse than SARS.”


He also elaborated on how fast the Wuhan virus might spread:

“Some of you asked: What if there is a risk of infections spreading even before symptoms show.

“If that were to happen, I think the spread of the virus will be much faster because we are unable to identify and isolate unlike SARS – we had the means to because of symptoms.”

However, there have been no evidence thus far that the virus can spread before any symptoms show. To this day, little is known about the Wuhan virus.

The SARS Epidemic In 2003

In 2003, 238 people in Singapore were infected with the SARS coronavirus while 33 people died.


These casualties included health care professionals. The virus spread via close contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person.

Earlier, it was announced that Singapore would not be banning China travellers at this present moment.

Singaporeans were also advised against “overreacting” and being “xenophobic.”

At the end of the day, it is important that we present a united front when faced with such a challenge so we can overcome the virus together.