13 Indian nationals test positive for Zika in Singapore Fishermen file plea opposing Shivaji statue off city coast
India said on Thursday that 13 of its nationals have tested positive for the Zika virus in Singapore which is battling an outbreak of the mosquito-borne disease linked to babies born with abnormally small heads and underdeveloped brains.
“According to the Singapore ministry of health, these patients are showing mild symptoms and have either recovered or are recovering. Their recovery process is being monitored closely,” foreign ministry spokesperson Vikas Swaroop said.
He, however, did not identify the people or their states.
“Since Singapore’s data protection law is very strict, the patientrelated details will not be made public unless those 13 people want it to be made public.”
No advisory against travelling to Singapore has been issued till now, officials said.
At least 115 people are said to be infected by the virus in Singapore, half of them from China, India and Bangladesh.
Zika is transmitted to people through the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which also spreads dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever.
Only 20% people develop symptoms, which are similar to dengue and chikungunya and include of mild fever, skin rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain and fatigue that last for two to seven days. About 80% of people infected don’t have symptoms.
In pregnant women, Zika infection may cause birth defects microcephaly — unusually small heads — and other brain abnormalities in babies in the womb. Infection may also cause Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare neurological disorder that causes paralysis.
There is no treatment or vaccine for Zika infection.
Plans for a grand Chhatrapati Shivaji statue in the Arabian Sea, off the Mumbai coast, have been opposed by fishermen who fear it will damage the environment and destroy the fishing industry.
The Akhil Maharashtra Machimar Kriti Samiti (AMMKS), a group representing the fishermen, filed a public interest litigation (PIL) with the National Green Tribunal, Pune, accusing the Maharashtra government, Union environment ministry, Mumbai Port Trust and the National Environment Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) of getting environmental and Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearances for the project without consulting citizens.
“The project will destroy around 110km of coastal area near Mumbai, natural aquatic, marine eco-system and it will affect the livelihood of traditional fishermen,” read the petition filed by Damodar Tandel, president, AMMKS, along with marine conservationist Pradip Patade. An NGT bench of justice Dr Jawid Rahim and Dr Ajay Deshpande heard the petition on Wednesday and issued notices asking the government agencies to send their representatives to the next hearing on September 30.