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As dengue cases soar, mosquito-suppressing Project Wolbachia to be expanded to about a third of HDB flats

As dengue cases soar, mosquito-suppressing Project Wolbachia to be expanded to about a third of HDB flats
SINGAPORE — The authorities will be expanding a flagship project to reduce the Aedes mosquito population to cover about a third of Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats here from July as dengue cases keep soaring towards record levels.
With this latest expansion, Project Wolbachia will cover another 1,400 blocks of HDB flats, adding up to 31 per cent of HDB blocks or 300,000 homes in total, said the National Environment Agency on Wednesday (June 15).
NEA’s announcement comes as the number of dengue cases here continues to soar,  with more than 14,000 dengue cases reported so far this year, more than double the total 5,258 dengue cases reported in 2021.
Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu warned on Wednesday at the fifth Asia Dengue Summit held here that weekly local cases may very well surpass the record of 1,800 set in 2020, possibly even surpassing 2,000.
Piloted in 2016, the project involves releasing male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes infected with the parasitic microble Wolbachia at test sites.
Professor Duane Gubler, Dengue Expert Advisory Panel Chairman and Emeritus Professor at Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore, said that while studies have shown promise, Project Wolbachia alone will not be sufficient to control the dengue situation in Singapore.
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