Posted by: bigtalksingapore | June 23, 2009

Singapore loosening control of Swine flu (H1N1) spread

Swine flu is officially spreading in Singapore.
And it looks like nothing much can be done about it.

Singapore Government is changing its strategy from containment to detection/treatment  (See Attachment #1, Tag #1).
Wow, does it mean that we’re giving it a free hand to let it spread like no tomorrow ?
Remember one thing, if more people get the virus, the possibility of mutation also increase dramatically.

Mr Khaw (Singapore Health Minister) said “There will be some death….” (See Attachment #1, Tag #2).
Hey! How can he said that so simply ?
Does he mean that “Death” is allowed ?
Can a minister talk like that ?
Life is so cheap (especially those “high-risk” patients with existing health condition) ?

A few points that I like to BigTalk below….

  • Majority of the flu victims came from 10 to 29 years old (See Attachment #2).
    But this does not mean that people above 30 are less prone to the virus.
    It could simply mean that those within the age group (10 to 29) are more active in term of local and oversea traveling.
    There is no proof yet (as far as I know) that the virus affect mainly the young.
    I like to work on the assumption that older people is equally likely to be affected.
    And those of elderly age are more likely to result in complication.
    .
  • Vaccine seem to be the silver bullet that our government is banking on.
    But take note that the current vaccine has a death rate of 0.37% (See Attachment #1, Tag #3), meaning that if 4.8 million Singapore residents take the vaccine, there will be (4.8m x 0.0037) = 17,760 death.
    Gee, it does look scary, doesn’t it ?
    .
  • School is going to reopen next month (See Attachment #3, Tag #1), meaning that the public transport will be crowded and students will be mixing around.
    I believed that students will be less discipline and complacent than adults, so the spread is definitely very high.
    Students will be bringing the virus back to their home to spread to their parents and grand-parents (High-Risk).
    We should not underestimate this channel (Students) of virus transmission.
    Some will argue that adults is as likely to spread as students.
    But I like to think that most adults will be more mature and take the situation more seriously.  Except for the BioPolis German Researcher who spread around despite arriving from oversea and showing symptom of the virus (See Attachment #5).
    So, I believed the decision to go ahead with the reopening of school next month is really “Unwise”.
    While it is good that students who recently returned from abroad must stay home for 7 days, they should have postphone the opening of school by at least 7 days to really play safe.
    Is postponing school re-opening by seven days really an impossible action?
    .
  • Government argument is that school should not be close as the risk of getting the virus is equally significant in Orchard road (See Attachment #3, Tag #2).
    I like to look it at another way.
    There are many channels of virus transmission, school re-opening will be the main one.
    If we can close one main channel of transmission, why don’t we do it ?
    Unlike working adults where they need to go to work and keep the economy afloat, I believed we can afford to play it safe to postpone school re-opening.
    Can we not ?
    .
  • I think not many people know that WHO reported a big jump in the H1N1 cases and fatality since friday (See Attachment #4).
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/22/AR2009062202386.html
    I didn’t see anything reported by our local media, they must be sleeping or something.
    But if this is really true, it will become a different ball game.
    .
  • WHO has raise its pandemic level to its highest point for quite sometime.
    Singapore government seem to be ignoring this action based on the fact that it is “non-fatal” or “less-fatal”.
    Remember that more people infected mean increase risk of mutation.
    Brazil is already seeing their first reported mutation (See Attachment #6).
    .
  • Hong Kong soccer team has already pull out of the AYG (Asia Youth Game) (See Attachment #7).
    I think it is becoming meaningless to continue with the game.
    Any team that win the game will probably feel like not wining at all.
    But the game will still continue cos it’s Singapore first game event (face is important).
    Looks like “Going through motion”.
    .
  • I know what you think, I got a lousy mouth and we should look at the bright side.
    I hope that I’m wrong and the government is right in their decision.
    .

Attachment #1: My Paper, 23 Jun 2009, Page A2
20090623B1_SingaporeStrategyOnSwineH1n1_MyPaperPgA2

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Attachment #2: My Paper, 23 Jun 2009, Page B4
20090623B2_SingaporeStrategyOnSwineH1n1_MyPaperPgB4

.
Attachment #3: Today, 23 Jun 2009, Page 1
20090623B6_SingaporeStrategyOnSwineH1n1_TodayPg1

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Attachment #4: Washington Post (Click here)
20090623A1_SwineH1n1TurnFatal_WashintonPost

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Attachment #5: Today, 17 Jun 2009, Page 1
20090617A1_GermanResearcherSpreadH1n1InSingaporeBoipolis_TodayPg1

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Attachment #6: My Paper, 18 Jun 2009, Page B9
20090618D1_H1n1SwineFluMutateInBrazil_MyPaperPgB9

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Attachment #7: My Paper, 23 Jun 2009, Page A2
20090623C1_HongKongTeamPullOutFromAsianYouthGamesAfterSwineH1n1_MyPaperPgA2

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Responses

  1. […] The Gigamole Diaries: H1N1 (aka American flu) – mortality rates, real or not? – Big Talk Singapore: Singapore loosening control of Swine flu (H1N1) spread – Dee Kay Dot As Gee: Wear a mask if you are sick – Emerald Hills: Aspiring for the Swine Flu […]

  2. […] The Gigamole Diaries: H1N1 (aka American flu) – mortality rates, real or not? – Big Talk Singapore: Singapore loosening control of Swine flu (H1N1) spread – Dee Kay Dot As Gee: Wear a mask if you are sick – Emerald Hills: Aspiring for the Swine Flu […]


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