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Singapore’s Chinese embassy urges nationals not to visit as singer JJ Lin distances himself from Fujian Covid-19 outbreak

South China Morning Post logo South China Morning Post 14/9/2021 Dewey Sim in Singapore dewey.sim@scmp.com
a group of people in a city: China’s embassy in Singapore said ‘dozens’ of citizens have been infected with Covid-19 while in the city state. Photo: Reuters © REUTERS China’s embassy in Singapore said ‘dozens’ of citizens have been infected with Covid-19 while in the city state. Photo: Reuters

The Chinese embassy in Singapore has urged its citizens not to travel to the city state unless necessary amid a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases there.

In a statement on Monday, the embassy noted that Singapore had recorded more than 500 daily infections over the last four days, and numbers were expected to reach the thousands.

"Dozens" of Chinese nationals in Singapore have caught the virus and sought help, including tourists and short-term visitors who had travelled for work or to visit their families, it said.

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Currently, mainlanders can enter Singapore without serving quarantine, but they have to take a test on arrival and isolate until they receive a negative result.

"Considering the current situation in Singapore, the embassy reiterates that cross-border travel during a pandemic is dangerous," it said, adding that those intending to visit the city state should "carefully" reconsider their plans.

Singapore's Covid-19 surge threatens to overwhelm its hospital services

The statement came ahead of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi's meeting with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in Singapore on Tuesday.

Singapore, one of the most vaccinated countries in the world with 81 per cent of its population fully inoculated, is battling a spike in cases. On Monday alone, there were 597 domestic infections, but the number of hospitalised cases and those in intensive care units remained relatively stable.

Authorities last week said a lockdown was not necessary but they would not rule out a tightening of measures over fears that the health care system would be overwhelmed. Officials will closely monitor the virus situation in the coming weeks before considering a further resumption of economic and social activities.

Meanwhile, rumours were rife on popular Chinese microblogging site Weibo that Singaporean singer Lin Jun Jie, better known as JJ Lin, was linked to the current virus outbreak in China's Fujian province.

Residents of Xiamen were put under lockdown as the highly transmissible Delta variant continues to spread in the southeastern province, which reported 60 new infections on Tuesday.

Chinese health experts last week suggested that the outbreak may have been caused by a patient who returned to Putian from Singapore and recently tested positive, according to the Global Times, which said the patient's surname was Lin. Other Chinese media outlets reported that the patient's name has both "Lin" and "Jie" characters, leading to speculation that it could be the Singaporean singer.

China city in lockdown as cases rise to 135 in Fujian Covid-19 outbreak

But in a Weibo post on Friday, Lin indicated that he was not the patient by geo-tagging Singapore as his current location and uploading photos taken with his friends in the city state.

In a separate post on Saturday, Lin posted a photo of himself wearing a mask, accompanied with the caption: "Good health is key to achieving the ideal mental state."

Some netizens rushed to defend Lin, pointing out that the singer had documented himself receiving a vaccine dose in Singapore in late August. Other posts earlier that month also show Lin riding his bicycle at Singapore's famed Marina Bay area.

This article originally appeared on the South China Morning Post (www.scmp.com), the leading news media reporting on China and Asia.

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