Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on Project Wolbachia by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment
Mr Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment in view of the implementation of Project Wolbachia in more housing estates (a) what are the plans of the Ministry to ensure the sufficient supply of male Wolbachia-Aedes mosquitoes so that the relative success of the project in terms of dengue suppression rates currently seen in the pilot estates can be maintained.
1 The National Environment Agency (NEA) is progressively expanding Project Wolbachia – Singapore to 8 additional sites over the next few months,to study the impact of Wolbachia technology on dengue cases. This will cover an additional 1,400 HDB blocks, bringing the total coverage of the project to 31% of all HDB blocks in Singapore and more than 300,000 households. To support the expansion of Project Wolbachia – Singapore while sustaining releases of male Wolbachia-Aedes mosquitoes in existing release sites, NEA is working with companies and the multi-agency National Robotics Programme to develop novel automated systems for the large-scale rearing and field release of quality male Wolbachia-Aedes mosquitoes. This will increase the production of male mosquitoes from the current 2 million to 5 million per week by end 2022.
2 While the results of Project Wolbachia – Singapore have been promising, Wolbachia technology is not a silver bullet. Source reduction remains a key strategy in our fight against dengue. Everyone needs to do their part to keep their homes and community free from mosquitoes and dengue.