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Saturday, September 3, 2016

Health measures: Vehicles must be sprayed with insect repellent when exiting and entering Singapore

JOHOR BAHRU - The Johor Health Department will take various measures to curb the spread of Zika infection, including requiring all vehicles leaving and entering Singapore to be sprayed with mosquito repellent.

State Health and Environment Committee chairman, Datuk Ayub Rahmat said these measures were necessary in view of the sharp increase in Zika infections in the republic as Johor was frequented by Singaporeans.

"The vehicles we are referring to include lorries, public buses, school buses, private cars and trains. This is to ensure that no mosquitoes with the virus are brought into the country via the vehicles," he said in a statement.

Ayub said the local authorities and district officers had also been instructed to focus on cleanliness in the areas frequented by Singaporeans including open eating places or restaurants, open recreational and entertainment areas, farmers' markets, wholesale markets and so on.

Ayub said the state Health Department had been asked to intensify enforcement operations on individual premises and construction sites in all areas near the entry points and housing areas with a high percentage of residents working in Singapore until the Zika epidemic there was under control.

"The state government will monitor all action plans and the special meeting will be held again on Sept 29 to review the effectiveness of these strategies," he said.

Ayub said the committee viewed the Zika viral infection among Singaporeans as serious as many frequented Johor while 200,000 to 300,000 locals travelled to the republic each day to work.

He said, based on the number, the people of Johor were vulnerable to the viral infection if drastic steps were not taken to destroy the vector which transmits the Zika virus, the Aedes mosquito.

He said cleaning-up of the surroundings should also be intensified in the coming two to three months so that the Aedes Index could be kept at the lowest level of less than one per cent. -Bernama

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