Dengue surge: Over 370k inspections, 900 households fined between January and May, says NEA

Containers with profuse mosquito breeding found in homes inspected by NEA. The agency said it has fined 900 households as of May 2019 for breeding mosquitoes.
Containers with profuse mosquito breeding found in homes inspected by NEA. The agency said it has fined 900 households as of May 2019 for breeding mosquitoes. PHOTO: NATIONAL ENVIRONMENT AGENCY

SINGAPORE - More than 372,000 inspections were carried out by the National Environment Agency (NEA) in the first five months of this year to check on mosquito breeding across the country amid a surge in dengue cases.

Of these, mosquito breeding habitats were found in 6,500 cases, the NEA said in a statement on Sunday (June 23). The agency also fined around 900 households for breeding mosquitoes.

The largest two clusters for dengue - the deadly disease carried by the Aedes mosquito - are both in Woodlands, including Woodlands Avenue 6, Woodlands Circle, Woodlands Crescent, Woodlands Ring Road.

Together, they accounted for 360 cases.

Three other large clusters were found in Geylang, including Guillemard Road and Sims Avenue (115 cases), Chai Chee (112 cases), and the Thomson area, including Jalan Lembah Thomson, Soo Chow Rise, and Upper Thomson Road near Lakeview (99 cases).

In these areas, 74 per cent of the breeding occurred in homes, with the top cluster at 85 per cent.

This is much higher than the national average of 60 per cent.

 
 
 
 

These official figures come at a time of an islandwide surge in dengue cases. As of 3pm on Friday, there were 5,534 dengue cases this year, about four times the figure in the same period last year.

For the week ending on the same date, there were 467 cases of dengue fever - the highest weekly number since March 2016.

Five people have died from dengue so far this year. The latest fatality, on June 14, was an 84-year-old woman who lived in Geylang Lorong 6 - in one of the largest active dengue clusters.

But the NEA said in its Sunday statement that while the five clusters accounted for the bulk of the increase in dengue cases, there had been a "general uptrend" across Singapore.

"The dengue transmission is therefore not localised, and everyone has to be alert to the threat," it added.

The NEA warned that with the start of the warmer months of June to October, a "national collective effort" is critical to prevent dengue cases from rising further.

"All residents living in cluster areas are strongly encouraged to cooperate with NEA officers, and facilitate their checks and indoor misting in their homes," it said.

The Straits Times reported on Thursday that between 2017 and May this year, at least 175 households were served legal notices for failing to allow NEA officers into their homes to conduct dengue-related inspections.