As of 23 July 2020, there have been close to 20, 000 reported dengue cases this year. With the escalating number of dengue cases and more than 600, 000 households located in over 400 dengue clusters islandwide, urgent collective community effort is critical to bring down the case numbers. The National Environment Agency (NEA) is working with all Town Councils to step up dengue prevention efforts in an intensive two-week islandwide exercise, to heighten awareness and sustain a momentum of community action to fight dengue. With the surge in dengue cases, high mosquitoes population and more people working from homes, all owners of premises and occupiers living in dengue clusters should immediately take proactive measures, such as spraying insecticide in dark corners of their homes, applying mosquito repellent regularly, and wearing long-sleeve tops and long pants to protect themselves from mosquito bites while at home. In addition, NEA calls on all residents to do our part to regularly “Do the Mozzie Wipeout”, to remove stagnant water in their immediate surroundings and destroy mosquito breeding habitats.

Dengue cluster situation update

As of 23 July 2020, there are 424 active dengue clusters reported. 45 per cent of dengue cases in active clusters are in HDB areas managed by Town Councils. With the concerted efforts of NEA and community stakeholders, the 218-case cluster at Woodleigh Close, 115-case cluster at Bidadari Park Drive / Woodleigh Link, 74-case cluster at Alkaff Crescent, 58-case cluster at Braddell Road / Clifton Vale, and 53-case cluster at Woodlands Avenue 6, have been closed. However, there are still large dengue clusters located at Aljunied Road / Geylang Road, Bukit Panjang Ring Road, Arthur Road, Leicester Road / Potong Pasir Avenue 1, and Arnasalam Chetty Road / Kim Yam Road, where intensive vector control operations are ongoing (refer to ANNEX A for information on the top five largest dengue clusters).

Some dengue clusters also have a faster rate of disease transmission, such as the 276-case cluster at Aljunied Road / Geylang Road, 258-case cluster at Arthur Road, 195-case cluster at Arnasalam Chetty Road / Kim Yam Road, 184-case cluster at Aljunied Road / Geylang Road / Guillemard Road,178-case cluster at Brighton Crescent, 106-case cluster at Dakota Crescent and 104-case cluster at Cassia Crescent, where there is an average of about two to three cases reported per day in the past two weeks. NEA’s Gravitrap surveillance system has detected a 30 per cent increase in the Aedes aegypti mosquito population from May to June 2020, compared to from February to March 2020. As we are in the warmer months of the year, we expect the high Aedes aegypti mosquito population to be sustained, unless additional efforts are taken to remove stagnant water in the environment and prevent mosquito breeding.

NEA continues with stepped-up vector control and community outreach efforts

NEA has been working with key stakeholders to conduct intensive vector control operations at dengue cluster areas. With the cooperation of members of the Inter-Agency Dengue Taskforce (IADTF) and the general community, we have closed about 75 per cent, or 1,249 of 1,673, of the dengue clusters notified, since the start of this year. Between January and June this year, NEA conducted more than 454,000 inspections islandwide, including about 3,800 checks at construction sites, and uncovered about 11,700 mosquito breeding habitats. About 140 summonses and three Stop Work Orders (SWOs) were issued to construction sites, and five contractors will be charged in court for repeat offences [1]. During the same period, more than 2,000 [2] enforcement actions were taken against owners of premises for mosquito breeding.

In addition to ongoing islandwide inspections, NEA has intensified dengue inspection and outreach efforts in the months of June and July, and accessed about 8,700 premises for inspection and vector control over five weekends. Volunteers have also been deployed every weekend since end-June to engage residents at large dengue cluster areas, and they have reached out to more than 36,000 people since then. These efforts will continue at other large dengue cluster areas over the upcoming weekends. Engagement efforts have also been supported by mass publicity on TV, print, out-of-home, and online platforms, as well as through SMS blasts to urge residents to protect themselves from the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes and to Do the Mozzie Wipeout regularly (refer to ANNEX B for pictures of NEA officers conducting inspections and outreach).

Egregious mosquito breeding continues to be discovered in homes

Whilst NEA works with these stakeholders for environmental management, residents must do their part to ensure that their homes and immediate surroundings, such as corridors and gardens, are rid of stagnant water. Of particular concern is the repeated mosquito breeding that NEA continues to find in homes. In the first six months, about 150 of NEA’s subsequent inspections at residential premises found repeated Aedes mosquito breeding. Even more egregious are that 23 out of these 150 subsequent inspections also yielded multiple mosquito breeding habitats. NEA will continue to take strong enforcement action against premises with mosquito breeding detected. Since 15 July 2020, NEA has imposed heavier penalties for households found with repeated mosquito breeding offences, multiple mosquito breeding habitats detected during a single inspection, and mosquito breeding detected after having received a legal notice from NEA. Enforcement has also been tightened for construction sites and Town Councils [3].

Intensive 2-week vector control and outreach efforts with all Town Councils, focusing on HDB common areas

However, NEA’s efforts alone would not be sufficient to break the dengue transmission chain, and the efforts of all residents and community stakeholders are needed to bring the dengue situation under control. NEA has detected about 50 per cent more Aedes breeding detected in Town Council managed areas from January to June this year compared to the same period last yearIn an intensive exercise over the next two weeks, NEA will be working with all Town Councils to step up inspections and vector control operations in common areas, to ensure drains are well maintained, common areas are kept litter-free, and stagnant water is removed or treated. They are also urged to work with NEA to coordinate chemical treatment, such as fogging, misting and larviciding, in dengue clusters, to bring down the adult mosquito population.

During these two weeks, NEA will also work closely with Grassroots Advisers and Leaders and community volunteers, to reach out to more residents to advise them to get rid of mosquito breeding habitats at home. In particular, the outreach will emphasise to residents living in dengue cluster areas the importance of applying mosquito repellent regularly, wearing long-sleeve tops and long pants, and spraying insecticide in dark corners around the home, such as behind curtains and under beds, to protect themselves from mosquito bites. Such protective measures are important given the surge in dengue cases, high mosquitoes population and with more people working from homes, which also means more blood meals for the day-biting dengue vector, the Aedes mosquitoes.

Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources, Dr Amy Khor, said, “Community-led efforts play a key role in protecting our neighbourhoods. We have reached out to our community stakeholders to step up dengue prevention efforts to break transmission in large clusters. We have also mobilised all Town Councils, as well as local Grassroots Advisers and Leaders, to organise and conduct patrols to check for potential mosquito breeding habitats in common areas around their neighbourhoods, and to conduct house visits to advise residents on common mosquito breeding habitats and share dengue prevention tips. They will also emphasise the use of mosquito repellent to protect ourselves, especially in dengue clusters, and to spray insecticide in homes. We need urgent collective community effort to prevent this situation from worsening.”

Every individual has a part to play in breaking dengue transmission

All residents living in dengue cluster areas are strongly encouraged to cooperate with NEA officers, and facilitate their checks and indoor misting in their homes. This would help to quickly eradicate mosquito breeding habitats and adult mosquitoes in homes, to break disease transmission. As the Aedes mosquito’s life cycle can be as short as seven days, it is important to Do the Mozzie Wipeout at least once a week.

NEA encourages everyone to use the resources available on our website and myENV app to receive updates on the dengue situation, and to take proactive action to protect themselves and their loved ones. NEA has also developed a ‘Check and Protect’ checklist, highlighting common mosquito breeding habitats, which is available for download at go.gov.sg/dengue-checklist.

Regular updates on the dengue situation can be found on the NEA website, Stop Dengue Now Facebook page, and myENV app. The public can also download the myENV app to get regular alerts on dengue clusters and areas with higher Aedes aegypti mosquito population.


[1] Provisional figures as at 17 July 2020.

[2] Provisional figures as at 17 July 2020.

[3] For more information on the enhanced penalty regime, please refer to: https://www.nea.gov.sg/media/news/news/index/nea-to-impose-heavier-penalties-from-15-july-2020-for-households-found-with-repeated-mosquito-breeding-offences-and-multiple-mosquito-breeding-habitats-2

 

ANNEX A

Inspection Findings at the Top Five Largest Dengue Clusters

Information as of 22 July 2020

S/N

Cluster locality

  • No. of cases
  • Date of notification
  • Proportion of mosquito breeding in homes
Premises detected with repeated mosquito breeding and/ or multiple mosquito breeding [4]

1

Aljunied Rd / Geylang Rd / Geylang East Ave 1,2 / Geylang East Ave 1 (Blk 132, 133, 134) / Geylang East Ctrl (Blk 120, 122) / Guillemard Rd / Jln Molek / Jln Suka / Lor 22, 24, 24A, 25, 25A, 26, 27, 27A, 28, 29, 30, 32 Geylang / Sims Ave
  • 276
  • 21 Feb 2020
  • 56%

2 premises detected with repeated breeding

2 premises detected with multiple breeding

2

Bt Panjang Ring Rd(Blk 537, 539, 541, 545, 609, 611, 613, 615, 617, 619, 620)/Jelapang Rd (Blk 528, 530, 536, 538, 540, 542, 543, 544) / Senja Lk (Blk 652) / Senja Rd / Senja Rd (Blk 601-608, 610, 612, 614, 616, 618, 621, 622, 623, 624) / Woodlands Rd
  • 272
  • 27 May 2020
  • 73%

 

3

Arthur Rd/Arthur Rd (Arthur 118)/Bournemouth Rd/Broadrick Rd/Clacton Rd/Cres Rd/Fort Rd/Jln Nuri/Jln Seaview/Jln Sedap/Margate Rd/Mayfield Ave/Meyer Pl,Rd/Mountbatten Rd/Peach Gdn/Ramsgate Rd/Ringwood Rd/Walton Rd
  • 258
  • 5 May 2020
  • 73%

 

1 premises detected with multiple breeding

4

Leicester Rd / Leicester Rd (Intero) / Meyappa Chettiar Rd / PotongPasirAve1 (Blk 101, 102, 104-109, 121-127, 129-131, 133, 146, 148) / PotongPasirAve2 / PotongPasirAve2 (Blk 143-145) / PotongPasirAve3 (Blk 134-142)
  • 196
  • 21 Apr 2020
  • 56%

 

3 premises detected with multiple breeding

5

ArnasalamChettyRd / DevonshireRd / DublinRd / JlnKuala / JlnRumbia / KillineyRd / KimYamRd / LloydRd / MartinPl / MohdSultanRd / OxleyGdn, Rd, Rise, Walk / RiverValleyCl, Rd / RobertsonQuay / RodykSt / St.ThomasWalk / TongWattRd / UnitySt
  • 195
  • 1 Jun 2020
  • 44%
4 premises detected with multiple breeding

 

ANNEX B

Photos of Dengue Control Operations

Collection of mosquito breeding sample
Collection of mosquito breeding sample

NEA dengue inspection officer taking a pic
NEA dengue inspection officer taking a picture of mosquito breeding detected

NEA dengue inspection officer checking
NEA dengue inspection officer checking common areas, where litter has accumulated, for mosquito breeding

NEA dengue inspection officer lifting drain
NEA dengue inspection officer lifting drain cover to check for mosquito breeding

NEA dengue inspection officer checking drain
NEA dengue inspection officer checking drain for mosquito breeding

NEA dengue inspection officer applying
NEA dengue inspection officer applying larvicide in drain cover

NEA dengue inspection officer checking plant feature
NEA dengue inspection officer checking plant feature for mosquito breeding

NEA dengue inspection officer applying larvicide
NEA dengue inspection officer applying larvicide in planter box

NEA dengue inspection officer checking water feature
NEA dengue inspection officer checking water feature for mosquito breeding

NEA dengue inspection officer checking water valve
NEA dengue inspection officer checking water valve chamber for mosquito breeding

NEA dengue inspection officer applying larvicide in drain
NEA dengue inspection officer applying larvicide in drain

NEA dengue inspection officer applying larvicide in drain 2
NEA dengue inspection officer applying larvicide in drain

 


[4] Repeated breeding refers to breeding detected during a re-inspection. Multiple breeding refers to more than 1 breeding habitat detected during a single inspection.

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