Business as usual for restaurants near Watten Estate
Eateries, parents of RGPS pupils confident that measures to control virus are adequate
The first confirmed case of the Zika virus might have been of a man living in nearby Watten Estate, but it's business as usual for restaurants at Bukit Timah's Greenwood Avenue.
Mr Marcus Edwin Wu, chef of Italian restaurant Rubato at Greenwood Avenue, told The New Paper yesterday afternoon that business has not been affected since news of the case broke last Friday
He said: "This area is usually a dinner place, so it's always quiet during lunch time, especially on weekdays."
There were tables and chairs outside the restaurant, while the other restaurants along the stretch were closed for the day.
"Everyone still comes here to have dinner, so there's no knee-jerk reaction towards news of the Zika virus."
The chef added that no customers had requested to sit inside the restaurant and that they still keep the chairs and tables outside the restaurant.
More than 500 premises in the area were inspected on Saturday and Sunday after a 48-year-old Watten Estate resident, who had returned from a business trip to Brazil, tested positive for the Zika virus.
The National Environment Agency (NEA) also destroyed more than 30 mosquito breeding sites.
NEA officers advised restaurant staff to take the usual precautions, said Mr Wu.
"We were told to just make sure there's no stagnant water, just the usual precautions and such," he said.
When TNP visited Rubato again in the evening, there were customers dining alfresco at the restaurant.
At least five tables were occupied by customers who were having their dinner.
Another restaurant, Greenwood Fish Market & Bistro, said they were also not affected by the news.
The manager, Mr Anand, 31, said: "Business isn't affected and the restaurant is always empty on weekdays. It's only crowded during Saturday and Sunday evenings."
Parents whose daughters were studying at nearby Raffles Girls' Primary School (RGPS) were also not worried about the virus.
One parent, Ms E Lee, said the school had sent an e-mail informing them of the Zika virus during the weekend.
She said: "We made sure to take the necessary precautions, and I'm not too concerned because the Government will take action."
Ms Pearl Sim, 43, who lives at Greenwood Avenue, was on holiday in Bangkok when she got news of the Zika virus case last Friday. Her daughter is a Primary Two pupil in RGPS.
She said: "My friends had informed me of the news. So I immediately called my helper to make sure there was no stagnant water in our house."
Ms Sim had been concerned, but is confident the authorities will take the neccessary measures.
She added: "NEA usually conducts checks to make sure there are no breeding grounds in the area."
Another parent, Ms Toh Li Peng, 39, had initially planned on not sending her two daughters to RGPS last Friday.
She said: "We will be travelling to New Zealand during the June holidays, and we didn 't want our daughters to fall sick as we don't know what the effects of the virus are on children."
Ms Toh made her daughters wear mosquito patches and insect repellant before heading to school yesterday morning.
One resident at Watten Estate Condominium, Ms Valerie Quah, said fogging is done every week in the condominium.
Ms Quah, 20, added there seemed to be additional measures taken, mentioning that the park near Tan Kah Kee MRT station had been fogged as well.
She said: "The man (with the Zika virus) was very responsible when he discovered that he had the symptoms.
"I would have been be worried if he discovered he had the symptoms and didn't bother to go to the hospital immediately."
- Additional reporting by Cheryl Ying and Vivienne Lim
"Everyone still comes here to have dinner, so there's no knee-jerk reaction towards the news of the Zika virus."
- Mr Marcus Edwin Wu, chef of Italian restaurant Rubato at Greenwood Avenue, near Watten Estate where the case of Zika virus was reported