NEA Calls For Urgent Community Effort, 190 Active Dengue Clusters Reported As Of 8 Jun
As Singapore grapples with the Covid-19 outbreak, another disease may have been overlooked by citizens. Recently, you might have come across more advertisements on dengue prevention in the neighbourhood and over social media, as the authorities ramp up efforts to alert citizens.
There’s a good reason why — on Tuesday (9 Jun), the National Environment Agency (NEA) reported that Singapore has recorded more than 10,000 dengue cases so far in 2020.
To put that into perspective, that’s the highest number of cases recorded in the first 5 months of the year since 2013 — and that year saw the largest outbreak in Singapore’s recent history.
10,000 dengue cases for the year up to 8 Jun
For the first 23 weeks of 2020, Singapore recorded a total of 9,839 dengue patients.
However, when we add the 165 cases detected over Sunday (7 Jun) and Monday (8 Jun), the number goes up to 10,004.
For the last week alone – between 31 May and 6 Jun – we had a massive 872 cases.
This is worrying, as the last time we recorded such a high weekly number of dengue cases was during the peak dengue years of 2013 and 2014, stated the NEA.
In those years, the number of weekly cases hit a high of 840 and 891 respectively, which means the 872 cases last week puts us right on par with that.
Record-breaking year of dengue cases predicted
According to NEA, this year’s total is set to be higher than 2019’s 15,998 cases. Indeed, we’re only halfway through the year and we’ve already surpassed 10,000.
There’s even a chance of breaking the record of 22,170 cases, reported in 2013.
12 deaths from dengue, 190 active clusters
12 people aged between 58 and 80 have already died from the disease transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
According to NEA, 10 of them frequented active dengue clusters in Singapore — 190 of these have been reported so far as of Monday (8 Jun).
Some of the larger clusters are at:
- Woodleigh Close
- Tampines Avenue 7
- Potong Pasir Avenue 1
- Aljunied Road
- Elizabeth Drive
However, there’s some good news related to the clusters. Those at Westwood Avenue, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 and Jalan Jurong Kechil have been closed.
Singaporeans need to take preemptive measures
Currently, the warm weather is facilitating the breeding of mosquitoes, as typical of the “traditional dengue peak season”, said the NEA.
Thus, to prevent the spread of the disease, the agency is calling on citizens to take urgent preventive measures as we stay home due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
What we can do is get rid of stagnant water in common areas like flowerpots, containers and bamboo pole holders. Check out this graphic for more information:
Authorities also stepping up efforts in public spaces
Government agencies and Town Councils are also conducting more frequent checks to clear potential breeding grounds in residential areas.
The NEA is also doing the same at construction sites that are at high risk.
So far, it has found twice the amount of Aedes mosquito larvae at construction sites during the ‘Circuit Breaker’ period.
Collective effort needed to reduce dengue cases
The massive spike in dengue cases is a clear sign for Singaporeans to be more proactive, especially as we continue staying home in Phase 1.
You can find out more about how to stop dengue at the Stop Dengue Facebook page.
While the dengue outbreak might be disheartening news as we’re already facing Covid-19, we hope citizens can continue diligently playing their part during this period.
Featured image adapted from Facebook.