LTA pledges to keep worksites dengue-free

SINGAPORE - The Singapore authorities on Monday reassured the public that they are keeping their construction sites dengue-free - despite a slew of major building projects.

They said worksites have accounted for only 1.7 per cent of cases this year.

Virus-carrying mosquitoes have not been found at any of the 60 major construction grounds owned by the Land Transport Authority. But the agency's deputy chief executive Chua Chong Kheng said it was not "not resting on its laurels".

Although worksites account for less than 10 per cent of mosquito breeding spots found this year, the potential for more is always there, he added.

Mr Chua said the authority also had a responsibility to prevent the virus from spreading to the 22,000 workers employed at its sites every day.

This year's toll of dengue infections has passed the 10,000 mark, and the situation shows no sign of abating as the traditional peak season draws near.

Inspectors have found that top breeding places on construction sites are puddles on the ground and on canvas and plastic sheets.

Yesterday, the authority carried out a coordinated "carpet combing" exercise - which included fogging and housekeeping measures such as overturning unused pails and sweeping the floor - at all of its major construction sites.

Meanwhile, Mr Chua signed the "x-dengue" pledge to guard against the virus at the Downtown MRT Line's Upper Changi station site.

At the construction ground, external pest control operators conduct fogging and apply anti- mosquito oil to stagnant water three times a week. The on-site pest control team helps by conducting "search and destroy" operations on alternate days.

Mr Derek Ho, the National Environment Agency's director-general of public health, said at the pledge-signing event that it was easy for residents to point the finger and say mosquito breeding happens elsewhere.

"But the reminder is still that every one of us needs to play our part, even in our own homes."


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