A day after Jeanhee Kim learned of a coronavirus case in her Singapore apartment block, she was visited by a distinguished-looking man she later learned was a senior government minister.

Kim, a 51-year old American who had just relocated to the island as the outbreak began, said the man asked her how her family were feeling, gave her some surgical masks and reassured her that Singapore was on top of the situation.

Her experience exemplifies the fastidious approach taken to combat the outbreak in the city-state, including the use of police investigators and security cameras to help track and quarantine more than 2,500 people. It has won international praise.