With how heavily the media has been focused on the current COVID-19 pandemic, other important news such the rising number of dengue cases, has been shifted from the public’s attention. However, that doesn’t mean it’s any less significant.
According to the National Environment Agency (NEA), a total of 6,193 dengue cases have been reported in 2020 alone, which makes it more than double the same period last year.
There were 402 dengue cases reported in the week ending 25 April with the large clusters located at Pavilion Circle, Westwood Avenue, Woodleigh Close, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3, Hougang Avenue 1, Aljunied Road, Jalan Jurong Kechil, and Mei Hwan Crescent.
In a press statement released by the NEA yesterday (27 April), the Agency warned the public about possible mosquito breeding during the circuit breaker period.
With the extension of the circuit breaker, all owners of premises are urged to apply for “Time-Limited Exemptions” to allow their workers to return to their premises to perform essential mosquito prevention measures.
The NEA highlighted that premises for construction and renovation sites have a propensity for water pooling which will create a habitat for mosquitoes to breed. Other than these premises, the NEA also listed offices and commercial buildings, shops, entertainment outlets, nurseries, farms, schools, and places of worship.
The Agency also included a guide on mosquito prevention measures on their website for reference:
- Ensuring proper housekeeping within compounds
- Ensuring routine pest control checks and treatments are sustained to prevent mosquito breeding (especially at construction and renovation sites, even if these are closed during this period)
- Removing all unwanted, water-bearing receptacles
- Covering toilet bowls
- Ensuring drains are free from chokage and stagnant water
- Adding sand granular insecticide (temephos) or Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) insecticide, or applying anti-mosquito oil to stagnant water bodies that cannot be removed
- Closing windows to prevent mosquitoes from entering, etc.
Despite the fact that non-essential businesses are prohibited from opening during the circuit breaker period, adequate vector control measures should be taken at all premises even if certain operations may be on hold during this period, said the NEA.
Additionally, as more people are working from home, homeowners and occupants are also urged to pay more attention to any possible mosquito breeding sites or the presence of adult mosquitoes in their homes.
Other than asking the public to play a part in vector prevention, the NEA stated that it has also reached out to all members of the Inter-Agency Dengue Taskforce (IADTF), Singapore Contractors Association Ltd. (SCAL), and operators of dormitories to ensure that vector control activities are sustained during this period.
On top of that, the NEA also emphasised that it has been carrying out its operations during this circuit breaker period with heightened precautions like taking the officers’ temperature twice a day, maintaining good personal and hand hygiene at all times, as well as following guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health.