Dengue infections dropping but battle not over: Grace Fu

An adult Aedes albopictus mosquito at the Environmental Health Institute. The number of new dengue infections may have fallen for the fourth week in a row, but Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Grace Fu has warned against complacency. -- ST FIL
An adult Aedes albopictus mosquito at the Environmental Health Institute. The number of new dengue infections may have fallen for the fourth week in a row, but Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Grace Fu has warned against complacency. -- ST FILE PHOTO: ASHLEIGH SIM

The number of new dengue infections may have fallen for the fourth week in a row, but Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Grace Fu has warned against complacency.

Ms Fu, who is also Second Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, and Foreign Affairs, said that with the number of cases still ranging beyond 500 just two weeks ago, the battle is far from over.

"It is not time to declare victory. There is still a lot of work to be done. There are still clusters that are growing, so we still have to watch against the spreading of the disease in other parts where immunity has not been built up yet," she said.

There were 306 dengue cases reported last week ending Friday, down from 542 in the period of July 7 to 13. But some 88 dengue clusters remain active, the biggest of which is in Tampines with 227 infections.

Asked about efforts to control the Tampines clusters, Ms Fu said the various parties were working very hard to keep their environment free of Aedes mosquitoes.

"Everyone is focused, everyone is concerned.

"It is really to get all stakeholders, not just the residents... but also the schools, town councils, public areas, the parks, industrial buildings... to keep their own areas clean so we can once and for all stop the spread of dengue there," she said.

Ms Fu was speaking on the sidelines of a community engagement programme to increase awareness on environmental sustainability held in Jurong East yesterday.

Organised by Dairy Farm Singapore in partnership with South West Community Development Council (CDC) and the National Environment Agency, the event saw a new Singapore Record created for the largest eco-garden fashioned out of recycled materials.

Students from 10 schools used a range of recycled materials which included newspapers, plastic bags and cardboard boxes to create their plot on a garden, which covered a combined area of 153 sq m.

Fuhua Primary School took first prize for its Wizard of Oz-themed garden.

Dairy Farm Singapore and South West CDC donated $100 worth of groceries and energy-efficient appliances to each of 1,000 needy families in the South West District.

This followed a youth-led campaign where around 5,000 individuals downloaded an energy-monitoring mobile app called Intraix.

Every five downloads saw Dairy Farm and the CDC pledge to help one needy family.

maryamm@sph.com.sg