Contractors association urges members to step up efforts to prevent mosquito breeding

A worker mists with insecticide the perimeter of a construction site, at an area where locally transmitted Zika cases were discovered on Aug 30, 2016.
A worker mists with insecticide the perimeter of a construction site, at an area where locally transmitted Zika cases were discovered on Aug 30, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Contractors Association (SCAL) has called for its members to step up efforts to prevent mosquito breeding in their workplaces.

It was responding to the recent case of local Zika transmission, where 39 workers at a construction site at Sims Drive contracted the Zika virus.

In an advisory dated Aug 30, SCAL urged its members, particularly those located in the areas where clusters of Zika virus were found, to immediately activate the mosquito outbreak response plan and conduct a 100 per cent search-and-destroy operations of all worksites, covering areas including roofs, drains, material storage, canvas, precast components, and pails/drums.

SCAL also advised its members to carry out immediate housekeeping at all worksites. In addition, employers were reminded to send employees suspected of Zika infection to a doctor.

"We are concerned that despite best efforts, an outbreak of Zika has been traced to a construction site," said Mr Kenneth Loo, president of SCAL.

"Our members conduct frequent checks and Mozzie wipe-out exercises regularly at their worksites. Contractors are fighting a losing battle in the hide-and-seek method to detect breeding grounds. Quite obviously more needs to be done with more effective ways to eradicate the Aedes mosquito."

In the advisory, SCAL also urged its members to encourage their employees to self-monitor for symptoms of Zika.

 

Employers should also ensure that pregnant employees take strict precautions against mosquito bites and seek immediate medical attention if they develop symptoms of Zika such as fever and rash, and if they live or work in the affected area, the advisory added.