On 26 September 2020, the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (TCDC) announced nine new confirmed local cases of dengue fever in New Taipei City due to cluster infection. All nine patients had visited the same bamboo shoot farm in Sanxia District. The EPA dispatched personnel on the day of the announcement to supervise the Environmental Protection Department of the New Taipei City Government while they sprayed insecticide and cleaned up the breeding grounds. Due to the difficulty in drawing water for irrigation, hillside farms often have water stored in different water containers or tanks, which can easily become high-risk places for breeding vector mosquitos. The EPA requested the Environmental Protection Department to strengthen inspections and mobilize community residents to eliminate potential breeding sites.
There have been a total of 30 indigenous dengue fever cases – 16 in Taoyuan City and 14 in New Taipei City (13 in Sanxia District and 1 in Zhonghe District). The cases in Sanxia District were all associated with bamboo shoot farms located on Wuliaojian Mountain and Wuliao Village.
On 26 September 2020, the EPA sent personnel to accompany Err-Lieh Hsu, Professor Emeritus from the Department of Entomology of National Taiwan University to inspect the breeding sites. Besides giving guidance to the Environmental Protection Department on insecticide spraying, they also reminded local community residents to regularly clean water storage containers that are commonly found in community gardens, including water buckets and water tanks. Water storage containers should also have lids or be covered with a fine mesh to reduce vector mosquito breeding. Since the first case in Sanxia District was reported, the Environmental Protection Department of the New Taipei City Government has employed chemical control strategies in the outdoor environments of the infected villages and the neighboring villages. Three hundred thirty sanitation workers from Yingge District, Sanxia District, and Shulin District were also dispatched. They emptied 1149 containers of standing water and disposed a total of 49 metric tons of trash.
Excerpt from Environmental Policy Monthly, 23 (10)
- Ministry of Environment