SINGAPORE - There has been a 15 per cent increase in the number of cases of mosquito breeding in homes and an increase of 30 per cent in construction sites early this month, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said yesterday.
The increase is for the period Oct 1 to 19, over the whole of last month.
The agency said that this upward trend might be related to the onset of the rainy season, resulting in a jump in the incidence of dengue.
Last week, there were 496 new dengue cases, up from 374 the week before.
Singapore is experiencing its worst dengue epidemic yet, with 18,702 dengue cases and six local deaths since the beginning of the year.
The most serious epidemic before this was in 2005, with 14,209 cases and 25 deaths.
NEA said that up until Oct 5, it had carried out over four million inspections of homes this year, and more than 9,000 inspections of construction sites.
Inspections at construction sites have been stepped up by NEA and 34 contractors have been charged in court. Some 20 contractors have been penalised with fines totalling $1.3 million.
A total of 18 Stop Work Orders have been issued by NEA at sites with multiple breeding habitats and poor housekeeping practices.
Due to the worsening situation, NEA said it will step up enforcement action against errant contractors.
The agency will work with the Singapore Contractors Association Limited to implement mosquito-control regimes at construction sites.
Still, NEA said it was not possible for the agency to inspect every home and construction site every week. It added that higher fines and court prosecutions cannot be the main solution to the dengue issue.
So, it is urging members of the public to be more vigilant and to eliminate mosquito-breeding sites in their homes, neighbourhoods and worksites.
And before going overseas or travelling for a holiday, homeowners are also reminded to keep their homes mosquito-proof.
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