SINGAPORE: Pregnant residents living in a Zika-affected zone in MacPherson have been contacted and briefed on the current situation, said Member of Parliament (MP) for the Single Member Constituency (SMC) Tin Pei Ling on Tuesday (Aug 30).
Ms Tin said she had been walking the ground and giving out insect repellents since last Saturday, when Singapore reported its first case of locally transmitted Zika. It has since confirmed another 81 cases, and authorities have warned the number will go up as due to active testing.
There are currently about seven pregnant women living in the affected Aljunied Crescent area, while another 20 more live outside the zone, the MP said.
“Once news broke out and when we knew about it, we immediately mobilised everyone and as we moved along we have been in touch with the ladies,” Ms Tin told reporters while on a house visit on Tuesday.
Ms Tin said she plans to check in with pregnant women living in MacPherson about once every three days. “If things are more controlled, then we will space it out. But as and when, if there’s an update or useful information, we also want to take the chance to share it with everyone,” Ms Tin said.
She said the mothers-to-be she met "naturally" worried about the Zika outbreak. “More importantly, they are concerned about the potential impact on their foetus, should they get Zika,” she said.
“As a mother, of course I will be concerned but I believe that everyone is doing our best, including Government agencies like the Ministry of Health and National Environment Agency. So for now, we have to have same faith and confidence in them. At the same time, we should not be complacent but work hand-in-hand on this matter."
Aside from sharing a written advisory, Ms Tin gave her pregnant constituents contacts they could reach out to if they have feedback on mosquito breeding or questions relating to the Zika virus.
Ms Sulaiha Ngatiman, one of the women Ms Tin called on, lives just one block away from the first locally transmitted Zika case. She is seven months into her fifth pregnancy and lights a mosquito coil and sprays repellent on herself before going to bed. She also said she keeps her windows closed at all times of the day, but otherwise, says she has no plans to move.
"If let's say the whole of Jurong gets infected, don't tell me all residents will move out to Tampines? You have to prevent this from growing and (mosquitoes from) breeding. I have to stay because my three boys are going to school so I have to stay and make sure everything goes smoothly."