Slight rise in number of Zika cases

Cleaners getting rid of unwanted vegetation in drains at the Elite Terrace estate in Siglap yesterday. One of yesterday's nine new Zika cases was linked to the Elite Terrace cluster.
Cleaners getting rid of unwanted vegetation in drains at the Elite Terrace estate in Siglap yesterday. One of yesterday's nine new Zika cases was linked to the Elite Terrace cluster.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Potential new cluster detected in Ubi Crescent, where 3 came down with the virus

For the second day in a row, the number of new Zika cases here has seen only a single-digit increase.

There were nine fresh cases as of noon yesterday, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) in its daily update last night. The day before, there were eight new cases.

But MOH detected a potential new cluster in the Ubi Crescent industrial area, where three people have come down with the mosquito-borne virus.

One was a new case from yesterday, while two had been picked up earlier. All three work in the area.

In addition to the new case in Ubi Crescent, four cases reported yesterday were linked to the Aljunied Crescent/Sims Drive/Kallang Way/ Paya Lebar Way cluster.

One was linked to the Bishan Street 12 cluster and another to the Elite Terrace cluster in Siglap, first flagged on Wednesday. The remaining two cases have no known links to any cluster.

  • 9

    Number of new Zika cases as of noon yesterday

    292

    Total number of confirmed cases

Yesterday's update brings the total number of confirmed Zika cases in Singapore to 292, since the first locally transmitted case was diagnosed two Saturdays ago.

Dr Asok Kurup, an infectious diseases specialist at Farrer Park Hospital, said while the number of new cases looked to be falling, new clusters have also been popping up across the island almost every day.

"If the situation was fewer numbers that were confined to a particular area, I would be more convinced of a plateau effect," he said.

"I don't know that we can be very confident of that, until we know that the numbers in the new clusters are also coming down."

Even so, life seems to be returning to normal.

A Mid-Autumn Festival grassroots event was held last evening in the MacPherson-Aljunied Crescent area, where the first locally-transmitted case was detected. About 1,400 residents were given mooncakes, lanterns - and mosquito wipes.

Meanwhile, the People's Association said yesterday 30,000 bottles of insect repellent will be available free across all Community Clubs for pregnant women from tomorrow.

In a joint statement with MOH, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said mosquito-control operations will continue in the five clusters, which include Bedok North and Joo Seng Road. NEA will also start mosquito-control and outreach efforts in Ubi Crescent.

Teacher and Elite Terrace resident Bill Loh, 49, said: "(The NEA) can do only so much, it's up to the individuals to be mindful of their surroundings."

• Additional reporting by Linette Lai and Nadia Chevroulet

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 09, 2016, with the headline 'Slight rise in number of Zika cases'. Print Edition | Subscribe