Strengthen efforts in war against mosquitoes

The dengue infection has persisted for years. Now, the fear is Zika.

There is an urgent need to strengthen our current efforts in the war against mosquitoes.

- While studies show that mosquitoes seldom fly beyond about 150m from their birth place, humans can be far-reaching carriers of viruses. Hence, infected patients should be isolated, where practical.

- Foreign workers may be reluctant to seek medical help, for fear of losing their income. Hence, employers should support health screening teams and give infected workers medical care and protection.

- Residents are taking steps to prevent mosquito breeding, but there are vast public areas and enclosures that National Environment Agency (NEA) officers may find difficult or impossible to reach.

In such cases, the NEA should consider installing mosquito traps. These can present valuable data to enable NEA officers to map out effective and immediate action plans to "search and eliminate".

- Resources beyond the NEA should be mobilised, as the strategies in the anti-mosquito fight require considerable resources. These can include the Ministry of Defence, Building and Construction Authority, Land Transport Authority, the National Parks Board, as well as volunteers from the public.

Swift and effective action must be taken, as the health and lives of residents and visitors are at risk.

Ivan Ho Seng Cheng