MOH: 50% Of Zika Cases Involve Foreign Nationals

Half of the Zika cases in Singapore are foreigners who live or work here, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Thursday (Sept 1).

Out of 115 cases, 57 are foreigners. The largest group is 23 people from China, followed by 15 from India and 10 from Bangladesh. Six cases are Malaysians, and one case each from Indonesia, Myanmar and Taiwan.

“All had mild illness. Most have recovered while the rest are recovering well,” said the MOH spokesperson.

Earlier on Sunday (Aug 28), the MOH said that 36 foreign workers at a construction site at 60 Sims Drive had been infected.

The ministry announced Singapore’s first case of locally-transmitted Zika on Saturday, involving a 47-year-old Malaysian woman who lived in Block 102 Aljunied Crescent.

Meanwhile, Malaysia reported its first Zika case on Thursday, involving a 58-year-old woman who visited her daughter in Singapore on Aug 19. Her daughter, a resident in Paya Lebar which has seen Zika cases, was confirmed as being infected with the mosquito-borne virus on Aug 30.

In Singapore, efforts to contain Zika’s spread continued on Thursday morning with thermal fogging operations observed in the areas surrounding Aljunied Crescent and Bedok North Ave 3, which has emerged as a potential cluster after three confirmed cases were reported. Health and environment officers were also spotted lifting drain covers to check for any breeding sites.

Residents in Bedok who spoke to TODAY on Thursday were largely unruffled by the latest development.

“Life still goes on… It’s just a pity that the virus has hit our island and spread like wildfire,” said Mr Stephen Gomez, 61, a resident at Blk 402 Bedok North Ave 3.

Housewife Madam Zhao Hai Ying, 27, said she would take more precautions by checking if her two young children had any mosquito bites. “But you can’t be so (fixated) on this, we just have to be a little more careful,” she added.

Office manager Sally Lim, 43, said that Zika was not “as serious” as SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), and that there was “nothing to be worried about”.

However, she noted that some of her relatives who had originally intended to visit her this weekend at her home in Bedok had decided to cancel the visit.



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