NEWS

Parliament Q&A

Written reply by Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, to Parliamentary Question on Mosquito Breeding and Inspections on 7 October 2019

TOPICS: Dengue

Question by Mr Gan Thiam Poh: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources (a) in the past five years, which is the most common area that residents have neglected resulting in mosquito breeding; (b) how many areas are at common areas (i) outside their house and (ii) within their house respectively; and (c) how many houses have been forced open for inspection in the absence of a response from owners/tenants.

Answer by Minister:

From 2014 to 2018, the National Environmental Agency (NEA) conducted an average of 1.3 million inspections annually, which uncovered more than 17,000 mosquito breeding habitats each year. The most common mosquito breeding habitats found in homes were domestic containers such as pails, dish trays, flower pot plates, and ornamental containers such as vases. The most common habitats detected in common areas were closed perimeter drains, discarded receptacles and gully traps.

2          NEA takes a systematic and holistic approach to arrest dengue transmission in Singapore. NEA conducts Gravitrap surveillance, regular inspections of premises for potential breeding sites, and intensive search-and-destroy operations to remove mosquito breeding habitats. Through NEA’s public communication efforts and the support of grassroots organisations, most residents understand the danger of dengue transmission and have been cooperative in facilitating NEA’s home inspections. 

3          For premises which NEA officers are unable to gain access to, for example when no one is at home, NEA will serve a letter to the owner or occupier to arrange for another date to inspect the unit. If our officers are still unable to enter the premises at the next inspection, a legal notice under Section 35 of the Control of Vectors and Pesticides Act (CVPA) will be served to the occupiers, requiring them to open their homes for inspection at a specified time. If the owners or occupiers still fail to contact NEA and all attempts to contact the owners or occupiers via neighbours, grassroots, neighbourhood police and official records again fail, NEA will invoke Section 36 of the CVPA to gain entry into the premises to check for mosquito breeding. From 2014 to 2018, 214 homes were inspected under Section 36 of the CVPA.

4          We need to remain vigilant and continue to work as a community to prevent mosquito breeding and keep dengue transmission in check. Everyone can play a part in preventing dengue by regularly doing the 5-step Mozzie Wipeout.

 

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