We thank Mr Kwek Geok Siong for his feedback (Stricter action needed to prevent mosquito breeding in unoccupied homes, Sept 23).
The National Environment Agency (NEA) takes a data-driven and integrated vector management approach to keep dengue cases low in Singapore.
This includes Gravitrap surveillance and risk-based inspections of various types of premises for potential breeding sites, as well as the conduct of larviciding, fogging and misting operations.
For premises which our officers are unable to gain access to, a letter will be served to the owner or occupier to arrange for another date to inspect the unit.
While most residents understand the danger of dengue transmission and have been cooperative in facilitating our home inspections, there are instances when NEA officers are unable to gain access.
In such situations, and where urgent vector control is necessary, a legal notice under the Control of Vectors and Pesticides Act will be served to the occupiers, requiring them to open up their homes for inspection.
Thus far, the majority of those who received the legal notices have responded swiftly, and NEA has been able to access the units for inspection.
Premises occupiers who hinder the work of authorised officers may face a fine of up to $5,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months.
Where necessary, NEA can issue an order to the premises owner to undertake measures to make the premises unfavourable to mosquito breeding.
The penalty for failure to comply with such an order is heavier than for the typical mosquito breeding offence.
Through our extensive outreach and public communication efforts over the years, and the support of grassroots organisations, most residents understand the danger of dengue transmission and have been cooperative in facilitating our home inspections.
We seek the cooperation of all residents and stakeholders to do the Mozzie Wipeout, to remove any stagnant water in their immediate surroundings and destroy any mosquito breeding habitats found.
These are simple and proactive steps that all residents can do to protect themselves and their loved ones.
Group Director, Environmental Public Health Operations Group
National Environment Agency