Orchard Road among 13 places in "red zone" for dengue

PHOTO: Orchard Road among 13 places in "red zone" for dengue

SINGAPORE - The National Environmental Agency (NEA) has declared Orchard Rd as a "Red" zone for dengue.

A dengue cluster is formed when two or more dengue cases occur within 14 days and the homes of the dengue victims are within the distance of 150m.

The colour coded "Alert Levels" indicate the severity of a dengue cluster.

Areas declared "Red" zones are those labelled high-risk areas with 10 or more cases of dengue. "Yellow" zones mean high-risk areas with less than 10 cases and "Green" zones mean areas with no new cases, and are under surveillance for the next 21 days.

According to NEA's website on the dengue situation in Singapore, 18 cases of dengue have been reported in the Orchard Road area.

It joins other "Red" zone areas such as Tampines central 7, Jurong Gateway and Bedok Reservoir Rd.

"The Orchard Road cluster comprises dengue cases working at or in the vicinity of the Orchard Gateway construction project (located at 277 Orchard Road), and two breeding spots have been found in the location," an NEA spokesperson told AsiaOne.

The spokesperson said that they were notified of the first case on September 25, 2013. Of the current total of 18 cases, 15 involve construction workers at the Orchard Gateway site, while the other three cases involve individuals working in the cluster area.

It cannot be confirmed if the three contracted dengue at their workplace or at their residence.

"Our officers have conducted checks at the construction site and surrounding areas since the cluster was notified on 10 October 2013. Three rounds of inspections have been conducted. The contractor has been required to step up its daily inspection regime to ensure proper housekeeping, removal of potential breeding habitats and oiling of ground puddles," the spokesperson said.

"Its workers are also taking their temperature and applying insect repellent daily. The contractor will be fined for the mosquito breeding found and has been warned that NEA may impose a stop work order if the situation does not improve.

"The contractor had stopped operations for five days to conduct a thorough check to remove potential breeding habitats."

The other cluster in the vicinity of Orchard Road is in the Eber Rd and Oxley Rise area. NEA was notifed of three cases on October 17. "We have not observed any link between the two clusters thus far, and officers have been deployed for inspections in the area to check for breeding habitats," the agency said.

Since the start of the year, there have been 18,212 cases of dengue across the island.

More details on the latest dengue situation can be found at www.dengue.gov.sg.

yamadak@sph.com.sg