Two more TB cases in Ang Mo Kio: Residents not worried, most given all-clear

Madam Ceng, a retiree, said she has faith that the Government will contain any spread of tuberculosis. She is seen here showing her letter of clearance after she went for TB screening.
Madam Ceng, a retiree, said she has faith that the Government will contain any spread of tuberculosis. She is seen here showing her letter of clearance after she went for TB screening.PHOTO: MATTHIAS HO FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Residents of Block 203, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3, are not overly concerned about the possible discovery of two more active tuberculosis cases, as most have already been screened and received the all-clear.

However, some believe neighbours who have not been screened should do so for everyone's peace of mind.

"We can't force people if they don't want to help themselves, but they are being selfish and putting other people at risk," said Mr Ahmad Huzaimi, 25, a medical information officer.

His family of three went for the screening organised by the Ministry of Health (MOH) at the block's void deck from June 16 to 19 and received letters last week saying they were in the clear.

A former odd-job labourer who wanted to be known only as Mr Ng, 55, said he wished everyone would get tested: "It's okay if I get it, but what if I spread it to my sister and her children?"

Out of 10 residents The Straits Times spoke to last night, nine had gone for screenings with their families and received letters saying their chest X-rays and blood tests were normal. About 350 people live in the block.

IMPORTANCE OF SCREENING

We can't force people if they don't want to help themselves, but they are being selfish and putting other people at risk.

MR AHMAD HUZAIMI, 25, a medical information officer, about neighbours who have not been screened.

 
 

Madam Ceng Hui Yang, 70, said in Mandarin: "I've already tested, so I'm not worried. I don't really visit the neighbours anyway."

On June 16, the MOH revealed that six cases of multi-drug-resistant TB had emerged from Block 203, with the first case dating back to 2012. Asked if she was concerned given the new suspected cases, Madam Ceng said she has faith that the Government will contain any spread of the disease.

Institute of Technical Education student Muhaimin Yasman, 18, said his mother was worried when news first broke about the TB cluster at the block, but she is "not so scared now that the results stated that she's okay".

Only storekeeper Johan Samah, 48, said his family of five had not gone for the screening. "There's nothing for me to check. Nobody is sick, why would I check? If they are sick, then I'll worry," he said.

Ministry officers, grassroots volunteers and staff from the TB Control Unit have visited 93 per cent of households in the block.

All residents who reported symptoms have been screened and assessed by the TB Control Unit.

Letters encouraging residents to get tested will also be sent to those who have not been screened.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 05, 2016, with the headline 'Most residents of AMK block given all-clear for TB'. Print Edition | Subscribe