Efforts to eradicate dengue stepped up in Bishan North

Senior Minister of State for Finance and Transport and Bishan-Toa Payoh MP Josephine Teo and NEA chief executive Ronnie Tay observing dengue prevention efforts in Bishan on July 26, 2015.
Senior Minister of State for Finance and Transport and Bishan-Toa Payoh MP Josephine Teo and NEA chief executive Ronnie Tay observing dengue prevention efforts in Bishan on July 26, 2015.ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

SINGAPORE - Mosquito breeding ground inspections have been stepped up at Bishan North, which is home to two of the largest dengue clusters of the year.

As of Sunday, a total of 259 dengue cases have been recorded at residential blocks within Bishan Street 22 - 25.

The National Environment Agency's (NEA) chief executive, Mr Ronnie Tay, said more than 12,000 inspections have been carried by the agency's officers, together with town council representatives, since the cluster was formed in the middle of May.

The NEA has deployed over 50 officers daily and over 1,000 out of 5,000 homes in area have also been sprayed with insecticide.

He noted that out of 149 of the breeding spots discovered within the clusters, two-thirds were found in homes.

"So it is very important for us to work with the residents to remind them to take care and to not have breeding in their homes," he said.

On Sunday, Senior Minister of State for Finance and Transport, and MP for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, Mrs Josephine Teo, together with Mr Tay, made visits to homes in Bishan North Street 22 to update residents on the dengue situation in their neighbourhood and to remind them to stay alert and play their part to prevent mosquito breeding.

Mrs Teo said that the town council has also stepped up its cleaning regime and supports the NEA in making sure that pest control contractors do their job thoroughly and diligently, but noted that they would need the cooperation of residents.

"It is only when we are able to tackle the breeding within homes that together with our efforts in making sure that our public areas are well maintained that we have a good chance of reducing the dengue situation in Bishan," she said.

There are 41 active dengue clusters here in total.As of 18 July 2015, there have been 4,878 reported cases this year, compared to 12,960 and 10,370 over the same period in 2013 and 2014, respectively. The week ending 11 July saw 272 cases, the highest number of weekly cases so far this year.