SINGAPORE, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) — Singapore's Ministry of Health (MOH) is actively testing people who live in the areas with high likelihood of local transmissions of Zika virus, as the number of people in the city state infected by Zika virus has grown up to 41 by Sunday.
MOH has confirmed 41 cases of locally transmitted Zika virus infection in Singapore, and of these, 34 people have fully recovered while the other seven, who are still symptomatic and potentially infectious, are recovering at Tan Tock Seng Hospital.
The confirmation came a day after MOH and National Environment Agency (NEA) announced that a 47-year-old Malaysian woman living at Block 102 Aljunied Crescent was Singapore's first reported case of locally transmitted Zika. She is the only female out of the 41 cases.
MOH and NEA jointly said that all the cases are residents or workers in the Aljunied Crescent or Sims Drive area. They are not known to have traveled to Zika-affected areas recently, and are thus likely to have been infected in Singapore.
Except the first reported case, 36 people who were infected with Zika virus are foreign workers working at a construction site at 60 Sims Drive. Others include four Singaporean men aged between 21 and 65.
Singapore's Health Minister Gan Kim Yong highlighted how eliminating the Aedes mosquito population was the "most important strategy" in the fight against Zika and urged Singaporeans to do their part. NEA is fogging and misting those areas to wipe out Aedes mosquitoes.
After the initial report on the Malaysian woman, Malaysia's Health Ministry decided to step up health screenings at Johor checkpoints. Similar screenings will also take place at airports hosting direct flights from Singapore, such as in Penang and Langkawi, according to the Straits Times.
Besides Singapore, 57 other countries have reported cases of locally transmitted Zika virus infection. In May, a 48-year-old male Singapore permanent resident returning from Brazil, where Zika is rife, was the first known Zika case here.