From tomorrow onwards, Singapore, as we know it, is going to be different.
Shops would be closed, hawker centres would be empty except for people who are dabao-ing and workplaces would be empty.
It’s all for a fight against an invisible enemy called COVID-19, which has taken 6 people’s lives so far.
But with many of us staying at home in the next four weeks, there’s another fight that we should be in: the fight against dengue.
Because while the cases of COVID-19 are increasing exponentially, the cases of dengue are increasing consistently.
Dengue Cases Doubled from Last Year So We Should Fight Both COVID-19 & Dengue
As of last Friday, we have a total of 5,033 dengue cases in Singapore.
That might not sound off any alarm until you realise that it’s more than double of the amount that’s reported in the same period last year.
In addition, 5 people have died from dengue so far; last year, in the same period, 3 have died.
Like it or not, the numbers show that it’s a tad more serious than COVID-19.
And NEA, who’s been busy telling people to keep a safe distance from each other in hawker centres, is also busy worrying about dengue.
They said, “The number of weekly dengue cases remains high, and continues to be a serious public health concern.”
Would we forget to do our five-step mozzie wipeout as we wash our hands five times per hour?
But other than more dengue cases, NEA is also worried about an increase in another version of the dengue virus, the dengue virus serotype 3 (DENV-3).
No Outbreak of DENV-3 for Almost 30 Years
2020 hasn’t been a goody year: other than bringing the nasty coronavirus to us, it has also brought DENV-3 virus to us, a dengue virus that hasn’t been seen in Singapore for almost 30 years.
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While most cases are still the usual DENV-1 or DENV-2, NEA has mentioned last month that an increase in DENV-3 is worrying.
This is because it’s so new, we’ve no immunity to it yet so it can be transmitted at a higher rate.
In other words, no herd immunity for it yet lah.
NEA Officers Still Fighting Dengue
When I was serving my NS, two groups of enemies fired at me when I was busying eating my rations.
I thought that if I just returned fire on one group, the other group would stop firing at me.
I was wrong and my entire section “died” within seconds.
And since NEA would have engaged Singaporeans who’ve been through NS before, they’d know that problems wouldn’t magically disappear if you choose to ignore it, so they’ll still be conducting home inspections for dengue.
They said, “Recognising the concerns arising from the COVID-19 situation, NEA has since put in place measures to ensure that NEA officers performing dengue home inspections are healthy and fit for work
“Besides taking temperature twice a day, other measures include maintaining good personal and hand hygiene at all times, like sanitising their hands before and after every home inspections, and adhering to MOH’s guidelines, which include not working when one is feeling unwell, maintaining safe distancing from colleagues and homeowners/ occupiers, and donning masks during the course of work.”
I don’t know about you lah, but during this COVID-19 outbreak, I’m finally glad that I’m not a boss nor working in the Government.
Yay, I’m weak but at least I can write this article on my bed.
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