Zika: On the ground

Zika outbreak: Town council steps up mozzie fight in Yishun

Nee Soon GRC MP Lee Bee Wah giving insect repellent to 71-year-old retiree Goh Han Kiat during her door-to-door visit at Block 826, Yishun Street 81, yesterday.
Nee Soon GRC MP Lee Bee Wah giving insect repellent to 71-year-old retiree Goh Han Kiat during her door-to-door visit at Block 826, Yishun Street 81, yesterday.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

MP urges residents to check for breeding grounds at home

Even before a Yishun resident was diagnosed with Zika on Thursday, Nee Soon Town Council had stepped up the fight against mosquitoes in a bid to stop the virus from spreading further.

Since Tuesday, its conservancy contractors have been inspecting and oiling drains, and cleaners have been asked to identify potential breeding areas, a spokesman said yesterday.

It has also spread information on the virus via notices and social media, and urged residents to perform the five-step Mozzie Wipeout, which includes changing water in vases regularly and covering bamboo pole holders.

Posters with information on Zika and the Mozzie Wipeout have been put up in every lift in Nee Soon.
Yesterday evening, Nee Soon GRC MP Lee Bee Wah went door to door at Block 826, Yishun Street 81, to inform residents about the  Zika threat and hand them insect repellent and fliers about the virus.

The Straits Times understands the Yishun patient lives in this block.

 
 

Ms Lee said everyone has a part to play in eradicating mosquito breeding grounds. She noted that, based on regular checks, 70 per cent of breeding grounds have been found in homes and not outside them.

“NEA (National Environment Agency) and the town council (will) step up and do whatever they can. But inside the house... what is more important is that residents need to check every day,” said Ms Lee. “Outside, if they see any water ponding that doesn’t go away... alert us.”

The nearby Khoo Teck Puat Hospital said it has taken additional measures in light of Zika. A spokesman said an advisory was sent to staff to better advise patients about the virus. The hospital has also identified a holding area for patients in the accident and emergency department who require Zika testing, should the numbers increase.

Even as NEA continued vector control operations in the Aljunied area and Bedok North Avenue 3, there were 38 new cases as of noon yesterday. Of these, 34 are linked to the Aljunied Crescent/Sims Drive/ Kallang Way/Paya Lebar Way cluster, while four have no links to any existing cluster, said the Health Ministry, without giving their locations.

 

This brings the total number of locally transmitted Zika cases here to 189, including two mothers-to-be.

Project coordinator Neoh Wei Kiat, 31, who lives in Block 826, Yishun Street 81, said he has asked his elderly parents to apply repellent when they are at home.

“It’s just like when there was dengue in this area. We can’t stop the mosquitoes from biting, but we will continue to do the usual like overturning our pails and checking for stagnant water.”

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 03, 2016, with the headline 'Town council steps up mozzie fight in Yishun'. Print Edition | Subscribe