Sunday, 27 Sep 2020

2 construction sites get 2 stop-work orders for failing to stop mosquito breeding: NEA

SINGAPORE – Two construction sites have received two stop-work orders each for failing to prevent mosquito breeding this year.

In an statement on the local dengue situation issued on Wednesday (Sept 16), the National Environment Agency (NEA) said enforcement action will be taken against the companies managing the two construction sites.

One of the sites, located near Arnasalam Chetty Road and Kim Yam Road, was issued stop-work orders on July 20 and Sept 9.

The second stop-work order is still in effect, and will be lifted only when necessary preventive measures have been carried out, said the NEA. The work site is located within a dengue cluster that currently has 364 patients.

Multiple mosquito breeding habitats found at the work site included an air-con compressor, a canvas sheet, a planter box and a wooden frame. Fifty or more mosquito larvae were found in each habitat.

The other construction site to receive two stop-work orders is located at Serangoon North Avenue 1. It received the orders on July 15 and Wednesday.

The mosquito breeding habitats detected at the site included water ponding in units on higher floors, with 50 or more larvae in each habitat.

Meanwhile, around 250 summonses were issued to construction sites from January to August this year, while 10 contractors will be charged in court for repeat offences.

Apart from the four stop-work orders issued to the two work sites, another 17 such orders were issued this year.

The NEA said that it has worked with the Singapore Contractors Association Ltd, companies managing construction sites, community partners and residents to step up dengue prevention and control efforts in construction sites.

To manage mosquito breeding at work sites, construction site operators were instructed to maintain a minimum workforce to perform housekeeping and facilitate pest control services within the sites during the circuit breaker.

Since the circuit breaker started on April 7, all 1,213 construction sites across the island have also been inspected at least once.

In August, the agency found about 55 per cent less Aedes mosquito breeding cases at construction sites than in July.

The NEA said that about 5,000 of the 665,000 dengue inspections it has conducted between January to August this year were at construction sites.

Although last week was the fifth consecutive week of decline in weekly number of dengue cases, with 726 cases reported, Singapore is still in the midst of its largest dengue outbreak.

Some 28,944 cases were reported in the first 37 weeks of this year, surpassing the previous high of 22,170 reported in the whole of 2013.

As of Sept 5, 21 people aged between 25 and 92 have died of dengue this year. Of these, 18 worked or lived in active dengue clusters.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, in a Facebook post following a visit on Tuesday to NEA – Environmental Health Institute’s Mosquito Production Facility, urged Singaporeans to do their part in the fight against dengue.

“Even as we fight Covid-19, we cannot take our eyes off other threats,” he said.

“All of us have an important part to play in helping to destroy mosquito breeding habitats, all over Singapore.”

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