Dengue cases in S'pore cross 6,000 mark in less than 4 months, exceeding whole of 2021

The sharp increase in cases has occurred even before Singapore has reached the peak dengue season. ST PHOTO: SYAMIL SAPARI

SINGAPORE - Dengue cases in Singapore continue to climb at a worrying rate this year, with the number of cases crossing 6,000 in less than four months.

This is more than the 5,258 cases reported last year, said the National Environment Agency (NEA) on Thursday (April 28).

Last week alone, there were 941 cases - the highest seven-day figure since the week of Aug 23 to Aug 29, 2020, when 1,153 cases were logged.

The sharp increase has occurred even before Singapore has reached the peak dengue season from June to October, the agency noted.

As at Tuesday (April 26), there were 193 active clusters, of which the top three recorded more than 220 cases.

This comes as the number of Aedes mosquito breeding sites detected has almost doubled at all types of premises, from around 1,300 in February to 2,400 in March, said NEA.

The agency called on premise owners and occupiers to take urgent action to carry out mosquito prevention and control measures.

Since the start of this year, the agency has closed about 67 per cent, or 394 of 587, of the dengue clusters reported.

"However, at recent inspections, we still continue to detect egregious cases of premises with multiple mosquito breeding habitats, and habitats with profuse mosquito breeding," it said.

For example, inspections of premises in the largest cluster of 299 cases in the Holland Road vicinity, including Grove Avenue and Mount Sinai Avenue, found 11 premises with multiple breeding habitats.

Repeat breeding of mosquitoes was detected at one premise.

During an inspection of one residence at Grove Avenue in March, NEA found four mosquito breeding habitats, including domestic containers and a flowerpot plate that amounted to a total of 100 mosquito larvae.

Meanwhile, repeat inspections in March and April found multiple mosquito breeding habitats in the common area of a condominium compound in a dengue cluster in Bukit Batok around Eng Kong Terrace, Kismis Green and Lorong Kismis.

In the common area, mosquito breeding was detected in gully traps on two separate occasions with 50 and 200 larvae or more, and in a discarded receptacle with 200 larvae or more, the agency added.

The third largest cluster located near Eng Kong Terrace, Kismis Green and Lorong Kismis has recorded 222 cases so far, with two premises found to contain multiple breeding habitats.

Said NEA: "These egregious cases of mosquito breeding show that some premise owners and occupiers are still not carrying out necessary basic mosquito control checks, despite the current serious dengue situation in Singapore.

"NEA will be taking strong enforcement action against these recent cases of egregious mosquito breeding."

Households found with repeat mosquito breeding offences and multiple mosquito breeding habitats may face a fine of up to $5,000, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months, or both, for the first conviction.

Those with three or more offences of mosquito breeding at construction sites may face a fine not exceeding $20,000, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months, or both, for the first conviction.

Previously, the agency had said Singapore is facing a serious dengue situation and could see a major outbreak this year.

On Monday, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu called the upward trend worrying and urged Singapore residents to ensure good housekeeping to prevent mosquito breeding.

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