Rise in Zika cases

Info on cases issued as soon as ready: Minister

Mr Tan speaking with a resident while visiting homes in Joo Chiat Place and Lorong 101 Changi yesterday.
Mr Tan speaking with a resident while visiting homes in Joo Chiat Place and Lorong 101 Changi yesterday.ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

The authorities had released information on the 41 confirmed cases of locally transmitted Zika as soon as they could, said Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin yesterday.

"I know some quarters have been trying to perhaps cast different aspersions about information being not forthcoming, but I think in this particular instance, what is quite clear to me is that (the Health Ministry) is quite particular that once information is ready, then it's pushed out immediately - which has been the case," he said.

"It's very important in times like this that the information put out be accurate, be factual."

He was speaking after visiting residents in Joo Chiat Place and Lorong 101 Changi, which are areas of concern as some of the Zika patients live there. He is an MP for Marine Parade GRC and his Kembangan-Chai Chee ward covers those areas.

The day before, Minister of State for Health Chee Hong Tat also said there had been no attempt to cover up the spread of the Zika virus here. Writing on his Facebook page shortly before midnight on Sunday, he said: "Some people have been wondering why the number of locally transmitted Zika cases increased from one case on Aug 27 to 41 cases on Aug 28. A few even asked if there had been attempts to cover up these cases. This is certainly not true."

EVERYONE HAS A ROLE TO PLAY

Stay calm and read the health advisories... Combating dengue and Zika is a community effort. Everyone has a role to play.

MINISTER FOR SOCIAL AND FAMILY DEVELOPMENT TAN CHUAN-JIN, who is an MP for Marine Parade GRC.

He said officers in the Health Ministry and National Environment Agency had been "working hard over the past few days" to provide 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," he wrote.

Mr Chee and Mr Tan took to Facebook to encourage residents to take precautions to reduce the risk of Zika infection. Mr Tan wrote: "Stay calm and read the health advisories... Combating dengue and Zika is a community effort. Everyone has a role to play."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 30, 2016, with the headline 'Info on cases issued as soon as ready: Minister'. Print Edition | Subscribe