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Public Urged to Eliminate Stagnant Water as Dengue Fever Spreads in Southern Taiwan

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As of 27 June, the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (CDC) under the Ministry of Health and Welfare announced a total of 72 indigenous dengue fever cases. Notably, in addition to a sudden surge of 54 cases recorded in Tainan City during the week of 20-26 June, Kaohsiung City has reported its first domestic case of the year. The EPA urged the public to enhance the clearing of stagnant water containers both indoors and outdoors and to take self-protection measures to interrupt the transmission of dengue fever.

The EPA stated that based on statistics from the CDC, neighboring Southeast Asian and South Asian countries are still experiencing a peak in dengue fever cases. As Taiwan’s borders remain open for travel, indigenous dengue fever cases in Taiwan have also increased and surpassed the number of cases during the same period in previous years. Additionally, the recent high temperatures and afternoon showers in various regions have led to the accumulation of stagnant water in outdoor containers, creating favorable environments for the breeding of disease-carrying mosquitoes. This consequently elevated the risk of dengue fever transmission. The EPA urged the public to remain highly vigilant and not underestimate the situation.

The EPA has already held six meetings involving central government agencies to inspect breeding sources within their respective jurisdictions, as well as to review and coordinate dengue fever breeding site cleaning and spraying efforts by environmental protection agencies in 2023. The EPA urged all central government agencies to continue implementing environmental management andbreeding source elimination within their jurisdictions, setting an example for the public. At the same time, the EPA has been supervising local environmental protection bureaus to strengthen public education and community mobilization for the implementation of the "Patrol, Dump, Clean, and Brush" measures. Additionally, relevant agencies will be encouraged to increase the frequency of inspections in their respective areas of jurisdiction, in order to ensure breeding source elimination, clean up littered environments, and prevent the proliferation of disease-carrying mosquitoes.

To enhance local resources and improve dengue fever prevention and control capabilities, the EPA has allocated a subsidy of NT$7,000,810 to the Tainan City Environmental Protection Bureau. This funding is for emergency procurement of epidemic prevention-related supplies, including medications, spraying equipment, lawn mowers, and hiring temporary personnel to carry out dengue fever breeding source elimination tasks. The EPA's SouthernRegion Environmental Management Center dispatched personnel on 28 June to assist the Tainan City and Kaohsiung City environmental protection bureaus in their dengue fever prevention and control efforts.

The EPA once again reminded the public to wear long-sleeve and light-colored clothing when going outdoors, use government-approved mosquito repellents, and properly use environmental agents. It is essential to reinforce efforts in eliminating stagnant water from containers such as buckets, tanks, jars, pots, tires, and flowerpots around homes. Working together to maintain environmental hygiene can effectively prevent further spread of dengue fever.

Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, June 2023

Ministry of Environment