Mr Yong had filed a Parliamentary question asking for an update on the Zika situation in Singapore, and if Project Wolbachia could be used to combat Zika alongside dengue.
Under Project Wolbachia, male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that carry the Wolbachia bacteria are released in an urban environment. They mate with the female Aedes aegypti so that the resulting eggs do not hatch due to incompatible matching.
This will reduce the urban Aedes aegypti mosquito population over time and decrease the potential spread of diseases such as dengue.
The Zika virus is transmitted primarily by the same Aedes aegypti mosquito, so Project Wolbachia has the potential to reduce the risk of Zika outbreaks as well, Ms Fu said in response to Mr Yong’s query.
However she stressed that Project Wolbachia is meant to complement and not replace good housekeeping and basic preventive actions that prevent mosquito breeding.
“We are currently in the midst of the dengue season. I urge all residents to ensure that their homes and surroundings are free of stagnant water, and to take precautions if residing in dengue cluster areas, such as spraying insecticides in dark corners, applying insect repellent and wearing long-sleeves and pants,” Ms Fu said.