Dengue cluster in Jurong West raises alarm among residents
Madam Tay Tay Kwee, 62, from Block 947 in Jurong West Street 91, knew her estate was a dengue-hit zone.
But she did not know just how bad it was when the National Environment Agency (NEA) said last Saturday that two women, aged 63 and 68, and a man, 41, had died there recently.
Other residents told The New Paper that NEA could have done more to alert them, and they were worried about what was being done to prevent the spread of the disease.
The NEA had said the dengue cluster in Jurong West Street 91 and 92 was the largest this year.
The announcement took many by surprise.
NEA said in a statement yesterday there have been 65 reported cases at 13 blocks so far.
Its spokesman said as of Monday, 126 breeding habitats were detected, and 87 of these were in places like flower vases, pails and dish drying trays in homes. Another 39 were found in common areas such as gully traps and scupper drains.
TNP visited the area on Monday and yesterday and spoke to about 20 residents in the area.
Madam Tay said in Mandarin: "There was no warning. The news came out suddenly that people had died. I am worried."
Jurong West Street 91 became a red-alert area which means 10 or more dengue cases were reported there.
The cluster had been alerted on April 3.
Ms Lily Tan, who lives in Block 940, said: "The government is only stepping in now when people have died. But this dengue situation has been going on since early April."
But some residents were heartened by NEA's efforts.
Mr Ong Yuen Woh, from Block 946, said: "I have seen more than 20 people checking drains, and they have gone to every unit to check for breeding grounds and provide the residents with mosquito repellent."
Yet, some residents continued to leave water containers exposed and are not draining water from flower pots.
Mr Yee Chia Hsing, an MP for Chua Chu Kang GRC, stressed the need for every resident "to be vigilant about stagnant water".