The epidemic situation in Pingtung City has intensified over the past two weeks as 21 more cases of dengue fever appeared. The Pingtung county and city governments mobilized nearly a thousand government workers on Oct. 27 to commence a massive cleanup project in 15 boroughs. The public also took the initiative in getting rid of containers such as bottles and cans filled with water, which can be taken to spots designated by Pingtung’s Public Health Bureau to be sorted and exchanged for a NT$50 gift certificate to be used at convenience stores. In a single morning, 401 of the certificates were given out and nearly 5,000 water containers were recycled.
Pingtung County Commissioner Tsao Chi-hung and Pingtung City Mayor Yeh Shou-shan led government workers during a pep rally held at Minho Elementary School at 8:30am, and then participated collectively in the citywide cleanup project, enhancing the cleanup of fallow land, empty houses and dirty areas. Bureau chiefs called on local residents to help seniors living alone clean their abodes. People with mental and physical disabilities also formed teams, going around the city broadcasting messages to local residents urging them to help eradicate insect breeding areas.
According to the bureau’s statistics, Pingtung County has had 177 cases of dengue fever, with 90 of them in Pingtung City. On the morning of Oct. 27, the bureau initiated the forced removal of dengue fever breeding grounds in vacant houses, surveying 93 homes in all, to help prevent the houses from becoming hotbeds for dengue fever. Regarding the exchange of water containers for gift certificates, the bureau prepared 2,000 of the NT$50 certificates, and gave out around 400 on the first day. The remaining certificates will be available for exchange at a later date to be announced.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)