Singapore PM says coronavirus pandemic could last a year or more

FILE PHOTO: Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong attends the 22nd ASEAN Plus Three Summit in Bangkok, Thailand, November 4, 2019. REUTERS/Chalinee Thirasupa

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Thursday the coronavirus pandemic could last for a year or more and that the city-state would need to impose more travel restrictions to limit imported cases.

“Unlike SARS, this outbreak will continue for some time – a year, and maybe longer,” Lee said, adding that Singapore must prepare for a possible jump in cases.

Singapore has imposed travel restrictions on virus hotspots China, Iran, South Korea and Italy so far, and Lee said in a public broadcast that it “will need to tighten up further temporarily.”

However, he said Singapore - which has reported 187 virus cases - was not raising its island-wide virus alert level and the situation there “remains under control”.

Reporting by John Geddie and Tom Westbrook; editing by John Stonestreet