Photo of Chee Hong Tat from Facebook

Minister of State for Health Chee Hong Tat blatantly lied on Facebook yesterday (Aug 28) that there is no cover up over the announcement of 41 new Zika cases made yesterday. According to Minister Chee Hong Tat, the announcement was released only after confirmation:

“A few even asked if there had been attempts to cover up these cases. This is certainly not true… You can see from the timeline that MOH and NEA have been proactive in engaging the different stakeholders to identify possible cases, conducting screening and testing to identify the confirmed cases, and promptly announcing such cases to the public once they have been confirmed.”

However, the Minister’s reasoning defies logic because it is evident from the timeline that the Health Ministry has suspected the cases to be Zika as early as 5 days before the official announcement on Sunday Aug 28.

State media Channel News Asia: “Aug 23: MOH visited the clinic and discussed the cases with the GP. The initial hypothesis was a cluster of mild viral illness transmitted from person to person. MOH then made arrangements for the clinic to refer new cases to the CDC for further testing and to start tracing past cases for review, and testing if appropriate. The ministry also communicated with nearby clinics and construction sites to increase vigilance and report cases to them.”

You may view the timeline here.

Minister Chee Hong Tat also illogically claimed that the staffs at NEA and MOH have been “working hard over the past few days” and hence there is no “cover up”:

“My colleagues in Ministry of Health and National Environment Agency – NEA have been working hard over the past few days to provide timely updates on the latest developments and to coordinate with residents, community leaders and healthcare professionals on the follow-up actions. This includes colleagues from the laboratories who are doing confirmation tests for suspected cases – they have been working till way past midnight to complete the tests, so that the results can be announced in a timely manner.”

You may view the rest of his post here.