Friday, August 15, 2014

Another Close Call

They say if you open the windows, expect flies to come in. Certainly not Ebola, unless you have a open door policy for all things foreign.

There was a mild scare yesterday when a Nigerian woman in her 50s was identified as a possible Ebola case by doctors at Gleneagles Hospital and transferred to Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH)'s Communicable Diseases Centre. She had flown into Singapore recently and arrived at Gleneagles's emergency department with a fever. What we do not know is whether she is one of many African foreign talents welcomed into the country by the liberal immigration policies or just another high valued individual landing here with lots of cash to park at our banks.

According to latest update (14 August) issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO), 128 new cases of Ebola virus disease, as well as 56 deaths, were reported from Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone, bringing the total number of cases to 1,975 and deaths to 1,069.

Ebola is a scary viral illness with initial symptoms of a sudden fever, intense weakness, muscle pain and sore throat. Then it gets worse - vomiting, diarrhoea and - in some cases - both internal and external bleeding. The incurable disease infects humans through close contact with infected animals, and then spreads between humans via direct contact with infected blood, bodily fluids or organs, or indirectly through contact with contaminated environments.

It's so scary that WHO has warned that there is "no early end in sight" to the severe health crisis and called for "extraordinary measures". Measures such as the Korean Air decision to suspend its return flights from Incheon, South Korea, to  Nairobi, with effect from August 20.

India's health minister Harsh Vardhan said 500 Indians are in the Republic of Guinea, 3,000 in Liberia and 1,200 in Sierra Leone, from where the maximum cases have been reported. Nigeria has a much larger presence of nearly 40,000 Indian citizens. "If the situation worsens, there is a possibility of these people returning home," Vardhan said. Hopefully not with the disease.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) claims that the risk of Ebola in Singapore remains low as there is limited traffic between West Africa and Singapore. Just in case, they carried out a mock "preparedness" exercise at Changi Airport, coincidentally, yesterday. All we need now is a tweet from Singapore Airlines declaring that they do not have connecting flights from Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone.

15 comments:

  1. Like their recent gaff that they do not fly over Ukraine? These people are great liars whose only concern is profit. Even when Ebola haven't spread, we are already witnessing spike in TB cases that went under-reported. The SPH cannot be trusted to report the truth yah.

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  2. No sure but heard there was a lock down at the causeway ytd..

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  3. Singapore Airlines should be serving the Singapore
    SLING - Sierraleone LIberia Nigeria Guinea.

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  4. The gov't is sleeping. When other countries are taking precaution measures, our MOH claims that ebola in s'pore remains low. We have planes, people coming in from infected areas and MOH still claims that ebola in s'pore remains low. Have they learn from the SARS episode?

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    1. So they thought they just dodged a bullet. With their open door immigration policy, this over-crowded red dot is a hot house for the Ebola virus, or any virus for that matter. Obviously they don't want to scare away businesses and affect their GDP.

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    2. The spike in dengue cases is also the result of overcrowding. When people are packed like sardines, it is easy for dengue mosquitoes to spread its virus. If the MOH is open, it will show us the year on year rise of dengue cases instead of focusing on the seasonal rise and blaming it on the weather.

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  5. /// Measures such as the Korean Air decision to suspend its return flights from Incheon, South Korea, to Nairobi, with effect from August 20. ///

    Do you think SIA will sacrifice profits in order to protect Singaporeans?

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    1. Do you think Changi Airport will stop receiving flights from Ebola infected countries?
      Will Changi Airport sacrifice profits to protect Singaporeans?
      What do YEW think?

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    2. I doubt Ebola can cause greater pain and hardship than the "PAP virus"...and so far this PAP virus has infected the brains of 60% Sporeans. What do u think?

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    3. Ebola may save many Sinkies from the long term suffering cause by the Local Viruses.
      Agree?

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  6. Tattler: "Certainly not Ebola, unless you have a open door policy for all things foreign."

    Haha, I like this subtlety: "...all things foreign." Human and microbial?

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    1. Yes, our coverment certainly loves all things foreign. Including germs and viruses .
      As to whether SIA will bother , like Korean Air ? We know that according to one wise, old man there is Nothing wrong with collecting More money.
      Actually, soon another younger wise man will also come out with " What is wrong with Over-spending if the money is not actually your own ?"

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    2. And when you go for surgery, don't use local anesthesia - only foreign will do.

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    3. The Ebola virus is very talented, or more germane, versatile. We need all the foreign talents we can get! Any Sinkies in the Ebola neck of the woods? But seriously, the spread of the Ebola fever is a threat to the world, the mortality rate being what it is, although not as contagious as SARS. So the complacent attitute of MOH baffles me. Is MOH infected/infested with the ̶E̶b̶o̶l̶a̶ ̶v̶i̶r̶u̶s̶ "what is wrong with collecting more money" culture, ala SIA, LTA, HDB, MAS, MOM, GIC etc...? Recall how SARS screwed up our GDP in 2003. Read Richard Preston's fascinating book "The Hot Zone" to understand what happened when Ebola first started in the Congo in 1976.

      http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/infopedia/articles/SIP_1529_2009-06-03.html

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  7. "So the complacent attitute of MOH baffles me."

    If you work in a wayang organization. Do you want to be the first to say the Emperor is naked?

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