Saturday, October 01, 2016

Formula One Singapore Grand Prix: Everything to Know About the Zika Outbreak

Formula One Singapore Grand Prix: Everything to Know About the Zika Outbreak

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The reported outbreak of the Zika virus in Singapore has raised some concerns in connection with the upcoming Singapore Grand Prix. The Formula One circuit arrives in Singapore for the popular night race just three weeks after the country officially announced the presence of confirmed Zika cases.

As of Thursday, Sept. 1, Business Insider reports that there are 151 confirmed cases of Zika infections in Singapore. Members of the Formula One racing teams are expected to start arriving next week after the conclusion of the Italian Grand Prix in Monza this Sunday.

The Singapore Grand Prix is scheduled on Sunday, Sept. 18. Qualifying rounds will be concluded on Saturday, and teams will be going through practice sessions and other preparations and promotional activities throughout the week.

Singapore is not the only location in the Formula One calendar where the presence of the Zika virus has been a concern. However, it is the latest among the locations that has been revealed. As the season winds down, five races are now expected to be held in Zika-infected areas, namely, Singapore, Malaysia, Texas, Mexico and Brazil.

Despite the threat, race promoters are saying that preparations for the Singapore Grand Prix are proceeding as planned. No racing personnel has been reported to have pulled out from any of the teams so far.  Precautions have already been taken, and it is business as usual.

“We are supplying anti-mosquito products and long-sleeved outfits, and we have sent yesterday a brief to everybody about how to take care and all the why, what and how about it,” said Eric Boullier, racing director for McLaren. 

The presence of the Zika virus has caused disruption in major sporting events since it was first discovered last year. The recently concluded Rio Olympics 2016 saw a number of cancellations from athletes who decided to stay safe. The virus has been connected to microcephaly in children of infected mothers. The condition is a birth defect that causes underdeveloped brains and small heads.