Johor government tightens up health checks at two Singapore checkpoints

20170614160000, Brenda Lau
Johor government tightens up health checks at two Singapore checkpoints
Johor government is stepping up health checks – screening for symptoms of Zika virus infection in patients with fever.
The Johor government has beefed up health checks at the two main entry points to the state from Singapore ̶ i.e. Bangunan Sultan Iskandar and Second Link ̶ in light of two Zika cases reported in Singapore last Friday.

State Health, Environment, Education and Information Executive Committee chairman Ayub Rhamat said that the body temperature of travellers will be monitored with thermal scanners at the checkpoints.

Immigration staff stationed at both gateways would also alert the relevant authorities if anyone is unwell and suspected of being infected with the virus.

Those suspected of being infected will be referred to the nearest health clinics for further checks, Mr Ayub added.

"Thousands of people use both links daily, and we are monitoring the situation," he said in a statement. The state's health department is expected to deploy more medical staff at the entry points if more Zika cases are reported in Singapore.

Enforcement activities around housing estates are also intensified to prevent infections from occurring.

Singapore reports two more Zika clusters


On 9 June, Singapore's National Environment Agency (NEA) reported that a new Zika cluster had been identified at Parry Avenue, near Kovan Road.

The cluster, bordered by Parry Terrace and Phillips Avenue has had two Zika infections reported on Friday and a new case with onset in the last two weeks. Both cases were residents in the area.

Parry Avenue is near Glasgow and Flower Road, where previous Zika clusters were reported in April.

Singapore has had 37 cases of Zika infections since the beginning of this year and its first locally transmitted case of the virus in August last year.

Doctors urged to be more observant when attending fevers


Malaysian Deputy Health Minister Hilmi Yahaya said on 10 June that there were no reports of the mosquito-borne viral infection involving Malaysians.

"I want the Johor Health Department to be more careful and alert, and perform more stringent monitoring, especially at the Malaysia-Singapore entrance,” he said.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam also urged doctors in the country to be more observant when attending to patients with fever, due to the possibility of being infected with the Zika virus.

He said that doctors should refer to medical institutions with the proper facilities to conduct study on the virus if the patient showed symptoms of the disease.

"For the time being, Zika has only been detected in Singapore. We have so far not received any reports and we are screening fever cases especially for signs of Zika," he said.

Subramaniam also reminded doctors to take blood samples of patients as it is the only way to detect the virus from spreading, and advised people going into Singapore to take precautionary measures.

Last year September, a woman from Bandar Botanic, Klang became the first Malaysian infected with Zika after visiting her daughter, who was also infected with the virus in Singapore. MIMS

Read more:
Zika vaccine enters Phase 2 trial for the first time ever
Microcephaly risk only found in Asian strain of Zika virus
A strange hurdle: Finding a Zika vaccine could require a new epidemic

Sources:
http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/johor-on-alert-for-zika-virus-after-2-spore-cases
http://www.todayonline.com/world/asia/johor-ramps-zika-screening-two-spore-checkpoints
http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/zika-virus-malaysia-to-tighten-health-screening-at-border-following-new-cas
http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/zika-virus-doctors-told-to-be-alert-when-examining-patients-with-fever