NEA officers fanning out in dengue hot spots

850 officers will work longer hours to destroy mosquito breeding areas

There will be no long weekend for some officers of the National Environment Agency (NEA), who will still be out conducting checks in areas where there have been outbreaks of dengue fever.

These appointments were made by residents who were unable to be present at home when the officers were making their daily rounds.

While no change has been made to deploy more than the 850 officers the agency currently has, their hours have been extended until as late as 10pm. The usual hours are from 8.30am to 5pm. This is to accommodate residents' schedules and speed up the process of destroying breeding grounds.

An NEA spokesman said that the number of fogging activities - spraying anti-mosquito chemicals - has been reduced since 2006 and 2007 as more emphasis is placed on eradicating mosquitoes at the source.

"We don't really emphasise fogging, because for a fogging exercise to be effective, you need at least 20 machines and above to have a very good exercise," said the NEA spokesman.

sabrinat@sph.com.sg