Efforts stepped up to fight dengue

Chai Chee Road resident Zainodin Mohamad, 56, and his wife, Madam Sumarni Surana, 55, checking their kitchen for potential mosquito breeding habitats. The Chai Chee Road area is the third largest dengue cluster in Singapore. The first two are in Wood
Chai Chee Road resident Zainodin Mohamad, 56, and his wife, Madam Sumarni Surana, 55, checking their kitchen for potential mosquito breeding habitats. The Chai Chee Road area is the third largest dengue cluster in Singapore. The first two are in Woodlands.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

More prevention activities as well as checks to remove potential mosquito breeding habitats

The number of weekly reported dengue cases has been on an upward trend as Singapore enters its warmer months, with the figure tripling over the past nine weeks, said the National Environment Agency (NEA).

For the week ending on May 25, there were 379 reported cases of dengue. This was 70 more than the previous week.

This was also the highest weekly number since March 2016, the agency said in a release yesterday.

The total number of dengue cases this year, as of May 25, is also more than three times the figure for the same period last year, with 3,918 cases this year compared with 1,058 last year.

"We are currently in the peak dengue season and expect the cases to rise further," said NEA, adding that the number of cases involving the more serious dengue haemorrhagic fever is also at a high of 32 cases.

Singapore saw its fourth dengue death this year when a 63-year-old man died last Wednesday. His home in Hougang Avenue 1 is not an active dengue cluster. The three earlier victims were all in their 70s.

As Singapore tides through the peak dengue season, there has also been an increase in efforts to fight the mosquito-borne infection.

As part of these efforts, Marine Parade GRC MP Tan Chuan-Jin went door to door with grassroots volunteers yesterday to spread awareness of the dengue situation and advocate for dengue prevention.

  • 3,918

    Total number of dengue cases this year as of May 25.

  • 1,058 

    Total number of dengue cases in the same period last year.

The Chai Chee Road area, which is part of Mr Tan's ward, is the third largest dengue cluster in Singapore. The first two are in Woodlands.

"We know that dengue can have serious consequences and we want to remind our residents about that," said Mr Tan in a doorstop interview after visiting about 80 units in the area.

"Our area is fairly serious... so I think it's really important for us to play a part to deal with it together," he added.

NEA said that for the first three months of this year, about 60 per cent of breeding habitats were found in residential premises and this figure remains high.

Following the national dengue campaign launched in early April, there have been more than 440 dengue prevention events and activities conducted across the island.

NEA has also stepped up checks to remove potential mosquito breeding habitats in public areas and housing estates.

 
 
 

For the first three months of the year, the agency conducted about 224,000 inspections, including 1,800 checks carried out at construction sites.

It uncovered about 2,900 instances of mosquito breeding habitats and, as of March this year, it has also fined more than 600 households for mosquito breeding.

As part of the efforts, NEA has also been deploying drones since 2016 to help officers inspect roof gutters for stagnant water that can lead to mosquito breeding.

Urging residents to join in the efforts to fight dengue, Mr Tan said: "The key message is that dengue is something we can manage. But it needs all of us to play a part.

"So do step forward and support the effort. I think we can give it our best shot."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 02, 2019, with the headline 'Efforts stepped up to fight dengue'. Print Edition | Subscribe