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NEA begins intensive two-week dengue vector control exercise across Singapore from July 24

SINGAPORE — As part of its increased effort to combat dengue, the National Environment Agency (NEA) is working with all town councils to step up dengue prevention efforts in an intensive two-week vector control exercise islandwide beginning on Friday (July 24).

NEA begins intensive two-week dengue vector control exercise across Singapore from July 24

Officers from the National Environment Agency usually check on common areas in housing estates and work sites for mosquitoes breeding among litter.

  • NEA will work with town councils to conduct an islandwide exercise to fight dengue, especially in cluster areas
  • Singapore is expected to see record cases of dengue this year
  • Majority of breeding sites detected are found in homes and residential estates
  • There will be inspections and vector control operations in common areas of housing estates
  • Residents are advised to cooperate with NEA officers doing checks

 

SINGAPORE — As part of its increased effort to combat dengue, the National Environment Agency (NEA) is working with all town councils to step up dengue prevention efforts in an intensive two-week vector control exercise islandwide beginning on Friday (July 24).

This decision was made as the country sees a high of close to 20,000 dengue cases so far this year, with more than 400 dengue clusters identified around the island, NEA said in a statement on Friday (July 24).

The total number of dengue cases for this year to date has already outnumbered the total tally of close to 16,000 cases last year. 

The intensive exercise aims to heighten awareness and sustain a momentum of community action to fight dengue.

NEA will work with the town councils, which manage public housing estates, to increase inspections and vector control operations in common areas, as well as to ensure drains are well-maintained, common areas are kept litter-free and stagnant water is removed. 

An officer from the National Environment Agency applying larvicide to a drian to kill mosquito larvae. Photo: National Environment Agency

In dengue cluster areas, the town councils will also be encouraged to work with NEA to plan chemical treatment such as fogging, misting and larviciding, which is the adding of chemicals to water surfaces to kill off mosquito larvae.

Over the duration of the exercise, NEA also plans on working closely with grassroots advisers, leaders and community volunteers to advise residents on how to get rid of mosquito-breeding spots.

This outreach will be aimed at residents living in dengue clusters in particular, where NEA hopes to raise awareness on the importance of residents applying mosquito repellent on themselves regularly, spraying insecticide in dark corners of one's home, and wearing long-sleeved tops and long pants in order to prevent mosquito bites.

These protective measures are especially important given that many Singaporeans are working from home due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Residents living in dengue clusters have been advised to cooperate with NEA officers when they conduct checks and indoor misting in their homes.

An officer from the National Environment Agency taking a photo after detecting a mosquito-breeding habitat. Photo: National Environment Agency

NEA emphasised once again the need for residents to do their part in checking for stagnant water around their homes. 

"Of particular concern is the repeated mosquito breeding that NEA continues to find in homes. In the first six months (of the year), about 150 of NEA’s subsequent inspections at residential premises found repeated Aedes mosquito breeding," the agency said. 

Speaking to reporters in Bukit Batok, Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources, also highlighted this concern, saying that most of the time, mosquito breeding is detected in common areas of residential estates as well as in homes.

Dr Khor, who was observing Chua Chu Kang Town Council carry out vector control operations in a dengue cluster in Bukit Batok, urged everyone to chip in to reduce dengue transmissions in their homes and neighbourhoods. 

"In the fight against dengue, every person counts and everyone needs to take action to eliminate mosquito breeding in homes and common areas, and eliminate the adult mosquito population," she said. 

An Aedes mosquito larva found at breeding spot after checks by the National Environment Agency. Photo: National Environment Agency

There are hefty fines to pay if one is found breeding mosquitoes in a household.

If one breeding spot is discovered, first-time offenders will be fined S$200, or S$300 if several breeding spots are found.

Second-time offenders will be fined S$300 for one breeding spot and S$400 for more than one breeding spot.

Third and subsequent offenders face a fine of up to S$5,000 or a jail term of up to three months. 

For construction sites, first-time offenders will be fined S$3,000, while second-time offenders will be fined S$5,000. Third and subsequent offenders may face a fine of up to S$20,000 or a jail term of up to three months, or both. 

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NEA dengue vector control town council

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