Singapore dengue cases drop by 70% from July peak but still remain high

A total of 532 new dengue cases were reported last week.
A total of 532 new dengue cases were reported last week.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - Dengue cases have dropped by about 70 per cent since the peak of 1,792 reported cases in a single week in July.

A total of 532 new cases were reported last week, said Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment Desmond Tan in a Facebook post on Monday (Oct 12) night.

But Singapore is not "out of the woods" yet, as last week's case count is "still a very high figure", added Mr Tan.

He said that the National Environment Agency's (NEA's) Gravitrap surveillance system has detected a rise in the Aedes aegypti mosquito population for five consecutive weeks, and that the rate of decline in weekly dengue cases has slowed down since four weeks ago.

To avoid a second spike in weekly dengue numbers before the end of this year, cases would have to be brought down by more than half, said Mr Tan, who is also Minister of State for Home Affairs.

He warned that 2021 might witness another bad outbreak, if the new year starts with "a high baseline of dengue cases".

NEA has continued to work with town councils and their partners to step up dengue prevention and control measures in housing estates.

Their efforts to control the mosquito population include cleaning drains and removing discarded receptacles, which prevent choking and the accumulation of stagnant water.

Mr Tan urged residents, especially those living in dengue cluster areas, to continue to be vigilant.

"Spray insecticide in dark corners around the house, apply insect repellent regularly and wear long-sleeve tops and long pants," he said, adding that all should help ensure that their homes and immediate surroundings are free from stagnant water.

This year's dengue outbreak has been the worst in Singapore's history, with 30,810 cases reported in the first 40 weeks, surpassing the previous high of 22,170 reported in 2013.