Rise in Zika cases

Pregnant mother moves out of area

Thermal fogging around Block 50 Sims Drive on August 29.
Thermal fogging around Block 50 Sims Drive on August 29.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

At least one pregnant woman has moved out of her home to avoid the risk of Zika to her unborn child.

Housewife Sherynn Ellyadi, 28, who is due to give birth to a boy this week, was previously living in a three-room interim rental flat in Sims Drive with her husband, mother and her five young sons.

But yesterday, she moved to her mother-in-law's home in Woodlands after hearing about Zika cases in the Sims Drive/Aljunied Crescent area.

A total of 56 people have been diagnosed with the Zika virus as of yesterday.

Pregnant women like Ms Sherynn are most vulnerable to Zika as the virus can cause unborn babies to develop a condition known as microcephaly, or abnormally small heads.

Her mother, housewife Lela Noordin, 60, said Ms Sherynn's mother-in-law had asked her to move to Woodlands last week as Ms Sherynn had been feeling giddy.

But Ms Sherynn delayed doing so as she had to take her children to school. Two study in MacPherson Primary School, while the other three go to a nearby pre-school.

"But after the news yesterday (Sunday) of the 41 cases, her mother-in-law insisted she move over," said Madam Lela. Her grandchildren remain with her.

Ms Sherynn's family has lived in the Sims Drive unit for almost three years while waiting for their build-to-order flat in Sengkang to be completed under a Housing Board scheme which provides temporary housing.

They were told last year that the Sims Drive block would be redeveloped and that they would have to move out. They have been allocated alternative housing in Punggol.

Madam Lela said they have to move by Sept 28, but intended to do so immediately after Hari Raya Haji, which falls on Sept 12.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, the HDB clarified that, contrary to a Facebook post by Ms Sherynn that was picked up by online media, the family was not instructed to "evacuate".

As the flat in Punggol is ready, the HDB contacted Madam Lela yesterday to arrange for them to collect the keys tomorrow.

"HDB informed us that once we collect the key, we should move out as soon as possible because my daughter is pregnant," said Madam Lela, noting that there were still things that the family had to settle.

"Two of my grandsons haven't transferred to a new school. And with another one entering Primary 1 next year, we need to find a new school first," she added.

The Zika cases have made her worried about her grandchildren as "their immunity is not strong".

She said: "We have to take care now that this virus is around."

•Additional reporting by Janice Heng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 30, 2016, with the headline 'Expectant mother moves out of area'. Print Edition | Subscribe