Bishan residents urged to step up anti-dengue precautions

Bishan residents urged to step up anti-dengue precautions
Senior Minister of State Josephine Teo and NEA chief executive Ronnie Tay visited residents in Bishan North yesterday to urge them to stay vigilant in the battle against dengue.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

Every morning, Bishan North resident Zurina Jupri applies mosquito repellent on her four-year-old daughter before the little girl goes to a childcare centre.

At night, she ensures that her plant pot plates are wiped dry.

The 32-year-old administrator takes these precautions because she lives within one of two dengue cluster areas in Bishan - the largest Singapore has seen this year.

As of yesterday, 259 cases had been reported in them. The clusters lie within Marymount Road and Bishan Road and include Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park.

Inspections by the National Environment Agency (NEA) found that 95 of 149 breeding spots there were inside homes.

Senior Minister of State for Finance and Transport and MP for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, Mrs Josephine Teo, and NEA chief executive Ronnie Tay visited residents in Bishan North yesterday to urge them to stay vigilant.

The NEA has stepped up inspections since the clusters formed in the middle of May.

It has deployed more than 50 officers a day who have so far carried out over 12,000 inspections and sprayed more than 1,000 homes with insecticide.

But Mrs Teo said it is crucial to get the co-operation of residents.

"It is only when we are able to tackle the breeding within homes, together with our efforts in making sure that our public areas are well maintained, that we have a good chance of reducing the dengue situation in Bishan," she said.

The NEA has observed a rise in the number of dengue cases in recent weeks, with the week ending July 11 seeing 272 cases, the highest weekly figure this year.

Madam Zurina knows just how important dengue precautions are, having spent a week in hospital with the virus in 2004.

"They had to draw blood from me every single day to monitor my blood platelet level," she said. "It was not a pleasant experience."


This article was first published on July 27, 2015.
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