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Authorities urge construction sites to maintain good housekeeping and remain vigilant (The Straits Times Forum)

Saturday, 18 April 2020

We thank Mr Foo Sing Kheng for his letter ('Dengue Threat At Empty Worksites', Apr 14). 

Amid the current COVID-19 situation, the high number of weekly dengue cases remains a serious public health concern.

In view of the circuit breaker measures, the National Environment Agency (NEA) requires businesses and owners of premises to ensure that adequate vector control measures are taken at all premises under their responsibility, even if certain operations may be on hold. This includes construction sites, offices and commercial buildings, shops, entertainment outlets, nurseries, farms, schools, and places of worship.

NEA has also informed all members of the Inter-Agency Dengue Taskforce (IADTF), the Singapore Contractors Association Ltd. (SCAL) and operators of dormitories, that vector control activities must be sustained during this period. Vector control work is an essential service and businesses can continue to engage the services of the vector control operators.

The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) has also reiterated this point to all contractors – that while all building works during this circuit breaker period is to stop, they must continue to properly maintain all construction sites, including making sure that mosquito breeding does not take place.

The authorities will continue to pay close attention to construction sites and remind contractors and developers of the need to eliminate mosquito breeding. Through the concerted efforts by the SCAL and industry leaders, fewer construction sites have been found to have mosquito breeding, with a reduction of 30 per cent in Aedes larval breeding found in construction sites over the past three years, compared to the preceding three years.

Good mosquito control at the construction sites, and personal protection through the use of mosquito repellent, are essential to prevent mosquito-borne disease transmission.

NEA and BCA will continue to regularly inspect construction sites, and we urge the construction sector to maintain good housekeeping and remain vigilant in eradicating mosquito breeding habitats.

Tony Teo (Mr)
Director, Environmental Public Health Operations
National Environment Agency

Er. Andris Leong
Director, Construction and Structural Investigation Department
Building and Construction Authority

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