Mosquito breeding found in 10% of building site checks

Mosquito breeding found in 10% of building site checks
An inspector checking for mosquito breeding sites in the Somerset area last year during an outbreak.

SINGAPORE - One in 10 of the inspections carried out at construction projects last year found mosquito breeding sites.

In all, about 12,000 inspections were carried out, Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said yesterday.

Major building sites are audited each month, with the frequency stepped up when there is a nearby dengue cluster. Errant contractors were fined a total of $3.5 million, he added. Dr Balakrishnan also said that in the past six months, the Government had issued 55 stop-work orders and prosecuted 26 contractors in court.

He gave these figures as examples of enforcement actions taken to stem the dengue outbreak, following questions on the state of the disease in Singapore from MPs Charles Chong (Joo Chiat), Gan Thiam Poh (Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC) and Sylvia Lim (Aljunied GRC), as well as Nominated MP Faizah Jamal.

The number of dengue cases has declined. Last week, there were a total of 210 cases, compared with the peak of 842 a week in June last year.

Dr Balakrishnan said the current outbreak is driven by a new strain of the dengue Type 1 virus, which accounts for up to 85 per cent of all cases, as the population has low immunity against it.

Meanwhile, the National Environment Agency is using new tools such as gravitraps in Bukit Panjang and Clementi to catch mosquitoes and their eggs.

The move allows officers to track where the dengue-carrying Aedes mosquitoes are spreading.


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