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Tool kits to prevent mosquito breeding to be given to about 75,000 landed homes, as dengue cases remain high

Tool kits to prevent mosquito breeding to be given to about 75,000 landed homes, as dengue cases remain high

NEA officer checks water feature for mosquito breeding. (Photo: NEA)

SINGAPORE: About 75,000 landed homes in Singapore will receive tool kits to prevent mosquito breeding, as the National Environment Agency (NEA) launches a new campaign "to arrest the possibility" of a second year-end dengue peak.

Singapore saw one of its worst dengue outbreaks this year, with both the year's tally of cases so far and the weekly number of new cases surpassing historic highs.

As of Wednesday (Nov 18), there have been 33,844 dengue cases in Singapore, with 355 cases reported last week.

"While this is five times lower than the peak of 1,792 seen in July this year, the weekly number of dengue cases remains high, at about two times more than the number of cases seen in the corresponding period averaged over the last three years," the agency said.

"This is worrying, as we may enter next year with an atypically high number of dengue cases, potentially leading to another dengue outbreak next year."

This was the trend observed coming into 2014 and 2020, which were both dengue outbreak years, NEA said.

READ: Spike in dengue cases – Why Singapore may see worst outbreak in years

"Therefore, unlike previous year-end periods, NEA will continue to adopt a high tempo of preventive inspections to remove mosquito breeding habitats and further slow down dengue transmission," the agency said.

"Some of these include areas that have not seen dengue transmission this year, areas with high Aedes aegypti mosquito population adjacent to dengue clusters, and also construction sites and industrial premises in close proximity to residential areas."

FOCUS ON LANDED RESIDENTIAL ESTATES

NEA had found a higher incidence of Aedes mosquito breeding and dengue cases in landed homes compared to private apartments and Housing Board (HDB) flats.

"Mozzie-Proof Your Home" tool kits will be distributed to about 75,000 landed homes.

The tool kits comprise a booklet with information on how to prevent mosquito breeding and bites, as well as a Bti larvicide dunk for residents to place in seldom checked areas, such as roof gutters, drains and water fountains.

It will also come with "visual reminders", such as weather-proof stickers, wooden plant pot markers and fridge magnets, to remind residents to check for mosquito breeding habitats.

The National Environment Agency will distribute "Mozzie-Proof Your Home" tool kits to close to 75,000 landed homes in Singapore. (Photo: NEA)

"As the topography of landed residential homes is more favourable for mosquito breeding than private apartments and HDB flats, due to the larger surface areas and greater variety of structures and receptacle types, NEA encourages residents to practise additional measures to prevent mosquito breeding within their homes and compounds," NEA said.

READ: Commentary – Uncovering the factors fueling record-high dengue cases in Singapore

These include turning over containers and storing them under shelter when not in use; covering any water storage containers and using the water in them promptly; maintaining water fountains regularly; and clearing roof gutters and drains, it said.

"Diligently carrying out all the above actions will lower the risk of being infected with dengue, and thus protect residents and their families," NEA said, adding that dengue cluster alert banners will also continue to be put up in landed residential estates.

FIVE DENGUE CLUSTERS CLOSED LAST WEEK

A total of 106 dengue clusters were reported in Singapore as of Wednesday, a decrease of 15 clusters from the previous week.

Five dengue clusters were closed last week, at Pasir Ris Drive 10 (116 cases), Cambridge Road (103 cases), Cheng Soon Garden (102 cases), Fernvale Road (94 cases) and Ah Hood Road (75 cases).

A total of 2,836 of the 2,942 dengue clusters notified since the beginning of this year have been closed.

NEA said it has also observed a slower rate of disease transmission at some of the larger dengue clusters, such as the 58-case cluster at Jalan Limau Bali, with an average of less than one case reported per day in the past two weeks.

However, large dengue clusters remain, including at Carman Street and Elite Park Avenue, Tampines North Drive 2, Pasir Ris Drive 3, Bunga Rampai Place and Boon Lay Place, NEA said.

"To combat these large dengue clusters, NEA has been working closely with key stakeholders from various government agencies in the Inter-Agency Dengue Task Force, including town councils, on sustained environmental management efforts," it added.

Source: CNA/dv

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