SINGAPORE - The National Environment Agency (NEA) carried out vector control operations in Paya Lebar Way and Kallang Way on Wednesday (Aug 31) morning, a day after 26 cases of locally transmitted Zika infections were confirmed, with five of those infected having lived or worked in both areas.
NEA officers and contractors were seen fogging the area around Block 120, Paya Lebar Way, while drains in the area were treated with granular insecticide to destroy potential mosquito breeding sites.
They also visited the homes of residents in the area to carry out misting to keep mosquitoes at bay.
Resident Melvin Chua, 58, said he was concerned about the many vulnerable elderly residents in his neighbourhood.
Mr Chua lives in Block 121, Paya Lebar Way - an area where Zika has spread, beyond the initial cluster at Aljunied Crescent and Sims Drive.
The mosquito-borne disease is generally mild in adults, but can cause foetal defects for those infected during pregnancy.
The operation was observed by Senior Minister of State for Environment and Water Resources and Health Amy Khor who also helped to spread the word on Zika prevention to elderly residents.
Dr Khor said that the area is already a dengue cluster, and that vector control was intensified on Aug 24.
So far, 60 per cent of about 1,000 units in eight blocks in Paya Lebar way have been checked, she said, adding that operations are ongoing.
Meanwhile, about 5,000 premises have been inspected around Sims Drive and Aljunied Crescent for mosquito breeding, as vector control remains the most effective way to combat the Zika virus.
NEA has identified 6,000 to be inspected in this cluster of Zika transmission. Measures include intensifying misting and fogging activities in the vicinity of Aljunied Crescent to kill adult mosquitoes, and increasing the frequency of flushing and oiling drains to prevent mosquitoes from breeding in them.
A total of 39 breeding habitats - comprising 23 in homes and 16 in common areas and other premises - have been detected and destroyed.
NEA officers and grassroots volunteers have completed the first round of outreach efforts in the Aljunied Crescent and Sims Drive cluster, to distribute leaflets containing Zika information.
Officers will continue to do outreach in the areas of concern to raise awareness of the mosquito-borne virus, reiterate the need to prevent mosquito breeding, and advise residents to apply repellent.
To date, the total number of local transmissions is 82, four days after a Malaysian woman living and working in Aljunied was identified as the first known case of a person being infected locally.