Singapore to place 48,000 mosquito gravitraps by end 2016

Singapore, Sep 13 (IANS) At least 48,000 gravitraps — which trap female mosquitoes — will be placed around Singapore by the end of 2016, said the country’s Minister of Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli on Tuesday in Parliament.

Singapore on Monday confirmed 333 cases of locally transmitted Zika virus infection, including eight pregnant women. Government agencies stressed that vector control is important to tackle Zika infection, Xinhua news agency reported.

On tackling the spread of Zika virus, Zulkifli said over 200 mosquito breeding habitats have been destroyed during inspections by National Environment Agency since the first locally-transmitted Zika case was reported on August 27.

The minister said that it was not possible to eliminate Aedes mosquitoes, but the current strategy has kept the population low. He noted that fogging was effective only in dengue or Zika clusters, and it was not sustainable to do so outside the clusters, as there is also the danger of mosquitoes becoming immune to certain chemicals which have been used too frequently.

Apart from fogging, Zulkifli said the key strategy for Zika and dengue control involved “source eradication”, or the detection and removal of breeding habitats and larvae.

Zulkifli also said that over 10,000 breeding habitats around Singapore were destroyed between January and July this year, half of which were in homes while about 5 per cent were at construction sites.

–IANS

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