SINGAPORE --- I'm still here in fine Singapore having an extended vacation. I picked a copy of The Straits Times yesterday (see the image above) and was surprised to see what Singaporeans meant with "record-high dengue cases."
I'm sharing with you an excerpt of what I read. The online version requires a paid subscription and you might not be able to access it.
After an average of about 322 cases per week in the first half of this month, cases surged to a record high of 414 last week, Health Ministry figures obtained by The Straits Times show.
Ang Mo Kio, Bishan, and Serangoon are among the worst-hit areas.
In response, the National Environment Agency (NEA), which spearheads dengue control operations, is stepping up checks on mosquito breeding sites, launching an online dengue-alert map that lists all active hot spots and encouraging town councils to set up dedicated mosquito-buster programmes.
[ The Straits Times, Aug 25 2005 ]
Click on Singapore's online Dengue Alert Map to see updated reporting of dengue cases.
I'm amazed that at 414 dengue cases per week, Singapore health officials are alarmed and label it already as "record-high." Review my past posts here and here, and tell me how a Singaporean will react if he sees our own dengue case figures.
I've been to Ang Mo Kio, Bishan, and Serangoon districts in Singapore --- don't worry, I wasn't bitten by any mosquito --- and I think the unusual rise of dengue cases here can be attributed to the areas' population. These are mostly residential areas.
To control dengue, town councils in Singapore have hired pest control operators in their areas. Their NEA also began fining first-time offenders who were found to have mosquitoes breeding in their homes last February.
Singapore is a place where people have discipline because their leaders see to it that laws are followed to the letter. Alas, I can only heave a heavy sigh for my country, and daydream that hopefully one day we can also develop that kind of passion to improve our regretful conditions.