As governments in Asia struggle to reassure their populations over the coronavirus, public health experts say Singapore's approach in communicating to the public is providing a model for others to reduce panic, rumors and conspiracy theories.

In a nine-minute recorded message on Sunday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said "fear can do more harm than the virus itself" amid reports of long lines and hoarding at local supermarkets. He then laid out steps residents can take to help prevent the spread of the virus, like exercising good hygiene, while assuring them that the city had enough supplies of enough goods.

Moreover, he reassured Singaporeans that the virus didn't appear as deadly as SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) in 2003, meaning that most people would likely experience a minor illness. He also said the government would change its approach if the virus became widespread to avoid overwhelming hospitals, adding he would keep them "informed every step of the way."