Some people have been wondering why the number of locally transmitted #Zika cases increased from 1 case on 27 Aug to 41 cases on 28 Aug. A few even asked if there had been attempts to cover up these cases. This is certainly not true.

My colleagues in Ministry of Health and National Environment Agency – NEA have been working hard over the past few days to provide timely updates on the latest developments and to coordinate with residents, community leaders and healthcare professionals on the follow-up actions. This includes colleagues from the laboratories who are doing confirmation tests for suspected cases – they have been working till way past midnight to complete the tests, so that the results can be announced in a timely manner.

Channel NewsAsia has published the timeline of events, starting from the first notification of a possible cluster of viral illnesses by a GP clinic in the Aljunied area to MOH on 22 Aug, to when a patient saw a GP with symptoms fitting Zika on 26 Aug, to confirmation of the 41 cases on 28 Aug ( You can see from the timeline that MOH and NEA have been proactive in engaging the different stakeholders to identify possible cases, conducting screening and testing to identify the confirmed cases, and promptly announcing such cases to the public once they have been confirmed. Our healthcare institutions are also taking care of the Zika patients to help them recover as soon as possible.

As Zika is generally a mild disease and 80% of patients do not show symptoms, it is possible that more people may have been infected by the virus but they are not aware. To reduce the risk of further spread of Zika in #Singapore, we need to work together to prevent mosquito breeding in our homes and protect ourselves from mosquito bites by applying insect repellent regularly.

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