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News Reports

Dengue Shock Campaign

There’s a second dengue death. And the dengue toll has crossed 9,000. June is a hot month, so those blasted Aedes mosquitoes are going to breed faster. The sudden outpours of rain aren’t helping even though they give us a respite from the heat.

Now, National Environment Agency officers are super busy checking premises for breeding spots. Perhaps, if they stopped arguing with Aljunied GRC-Hougang town council over hawker centre cleaning, even more brains can be expended on how to battle the mozzie. (Amazing how what looked like a misunderstanding over who should pay for cleaning what part of the hawker centre has been blown into a huge political issue!)

Much money has been thrown into the business of making people aware of the dengue danger, and “reality’’ videos are supposed to be hitting computer screens as well. Perhaps, a dengue shock syndrome approach should be applied to the campaign to get under the skin of those who don’t think dengue will happen to them.

Why not the G try this multi-agency effort:

a. All ERP gantries to display dengue toll numbers instead of fees until the mosquito is definitely wiped out of existence. Raises awareness and gains the G some goodwill. To be executed by LTA.

b. All G bills must come with a small packet of wipe-it-over-yourself mosquito repellent that will hopefully tear during delivery and obliterate whatever you owe. Agencies include PUB and HDB.

c. Car bumper stickers to be distributed which read “Don’t get angry with me. I am not a mozzie’’. Calms down drivers prone to road rage as well. A Traffic Police initiative.

d. Hong Lim Park to be declared mosquito-infested zone. Good for the G as no more pesky people can hold rallies there. NParks to handle with Singapore Police Force to police.

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e. Impose a $50,000 performance bond on every neighbourhood which has chalked up 50 dengue cases. Size of the neighbourhood is at the discretion of the G. NEA to seek MDA’s advice on implementation.

f. G will pay the COV for every resale flat that changes hands if owners can prove that not a single living thing lives in the apartment. Except humans. Makes resale flats more saleable. National Development Ministry to use money from land sales to fund this.

g. Our Singapore Conversation will devote one dialogue session with the Aedes mosquito. Minister-in-charge Heng Swee Keat to organise.

h. The Great Singapore Sale will offer all manner of insecticides and mosquito repellents at a 70 per cent discount. Free for tourists so they don’t flee Dengue Land. Lead agency: Singapore Tourism Board.

i. Owners of premises who refuse to open their doors for inspection will be forced, on top of fines, to clean drains wearing a sign “Bite Me’’. Public shaming always works. Law ministry to re-work regulations post-haste. To consult MDA.

j. Army exercises in muddy areas to be suspended. Mindef to issue orders.

k. Exhibition on old-style mosquito coils, folk remedies for mosquito bites, and mosquito nets to be held in the National Museum. Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth to spearhead.

l. All Spelling Bees for primary schools to be re-named Spelling Mosquitoes, a longer word. Education ministry to distribute directive to cluster heads of schools.

Have left out Ministry of Health because staff might be too busy dealing with cases for anything else. Also Ministry of Communications and Information is not involved because there is really no need for public consultation and explanation.

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An ex-journalist who can't get enough of the news after being in the business for 26 years

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