SINGAPORE: Member of Parliament for Hougang Png Eng Huat said on Friday (May 29) that mosquitoes were found breeding inside containers that were "hidden" in trees at a park in his constituency.
The receptacles were "planted in the trees along the footpath" at a park located between Blocks 341 and 351 on Hougang Ave 7, said Mr Png in a Facebook post in which he noted the rising trend of dengue cases across the country.
"Mosquitoes were found breeding inside these containers. Some containers were well hidden, making the job of the property team difficult when they go on a 'search and destroy' run," he said.
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Mr Png said as Singaporeans fought "the spread of COVID-19, we should not forget to keep dengue at bay too", citing a warning by the National Environment Agency (NEA) that dengue cases were on the rise and may surpass last year's figure.
The Workers' Party MP said while town council staff members and cleaners have been kept busy by the COVID-19 pandemic, they have "managed to keep the number of dengue cases low in Hougang SMC (Single Member Constituency)".
"We are asking residents living in the two blocks of flats overlooking the park to help us keep an eye on the activities there, and to report to the town council if they do spot something suspicious," said Mr Png.
"We intend to catch the perpetrator because the health of our residents matters."
In response to queries from CNA, NEA said later on Friday that it was aware of the incident and looking into it.
"We are currently working with the relevant parties including Aljunied-Hougang Town Council to investigate this," the authority said, adding that it takes a "serious view" of any action that results in mosquito breeding.
"It is particularly egregious if such acts are found to be deliberate, coming at a time when we are now into the annual dengue peak season."
NEA also warned that it will take "firm enforcement action" against those found responsible.
The number of dengue cases in the week ending May 23 was 623, the highest so far this year, according to NEA data.
"This is the third consecutive week we have seen the weekly dengue cases exceed 500 and we have just entered the warmer months of May to September (when) there will usually be higher transmission of dengue in Singapore," NEA said on its website.
There are 469 cases so far this week as of Thursday at 3pm. This compares with around 400 weekly cases this time last year.