Photo from Seah Kwang Ping The Straits Times

A group health screening revealed that 47 residents of Ang Mo Kio Block 203 contracted tuberculous (TB). 45 of them are found with latent TB, an inactive form of TB that will become active once the patient’s immune system become weaker. 2 are found with active tuberculous and are now seeking treatment and under investigation for contact tracing. 9 residents of the block has not undergone screening yet.

The Singapore government, through the state media The Straits Times, is downplaying the TB outbreak. The Ministry of Health called the latent TB “not out of ordinary” but did not highlight that latent TB patients may turn active when their immune system become weaker. The outbreak was discovered when 6 residents of the same block were found to have contracted the same TB bacteria strain, which is unique as it is resistant to multi-drugs.

The Health Minister has no comment on the incident while the Prime Minister, who is a MP of Ang Mo Kio GRC, was also quiet.