Workers’ Party call upon the government to clarify timeline for public notification of Zika infection

Workers’ Party issued a statement on Sunday expressing concern in regards to the 41 cases of locally transmitted Zika virus infection and call upon the government to clarify the timeline for the cases

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has earlier confirmed the presence of 41 cases of locally-transmitted Zika in a joint press conference on Sunday with the National Environment Agency (NEA).

All of 41 are residents or workers in the Aljunied Crescent and Sims Drive area. They include 36 foreign construction workers. MOH also shared that 124 people (of which are 118 construction workers) have been tested on 27 August. 78 have tested negative and the remaining five cases are still pending.

MOH notes that out of the 41 cases, 36 were detected through active testing. Out of the 41 cases, 34 cases have fully recovered. The remaining seven, “who were mostly tested on Aug 27”, are still symptomatic and recovering at Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

Members of the Public are confused as to how 41 cases were confirmed only on 27 August while 34 cases have already fully recovered.

Workers’ Party in its statement sought to ask questions on when was the 41 cases tested positive and were the tests conducted with the same criteria to ascertain the first confirmed case on 27 August.

Below is the statement by Workers’ Party in full

The Workers’ Party notes with concern the confirmation of 41 cases of locally transmitted Zika virus infection. We express our solidarity with all persons affected by the Zika virus and we wish all patients a speedy recovery.

Prompt public notification of Zika cases is important so that members of the public in the affected areas can take the necessary precautions and so that stakeholders can take vector control measures.

As a matter of process improvement and learning, we call on the government to clarify the timeline for public notification of these cases as follows.

1. For all of the 41 cases of positive Zika infection transmitted locally, was it the case that all were not tested positive until after 27 August, which was when the news was released about the 47-year old Malaysian female patient who tested positive?

2. Was the same criteria in terms of number of tests and degree of evidence applied to the case of the one Zika patient notified to the public on 27 August as for the other 40 cases notified today, on 28 August?

All residents of Singapore need the same degree of care and protection from Zika. We would also like to express our strongest support to public sector workers undertaking vector control.

Leon Perera
Deputy Chair
Media Team