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September
Anti-mosquito measures intensified at LCSD venues

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The Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) has installed mosquito-killing machines at its major leisure venues in an effort to prevent the spread of dengue fever.

A spokesman for the department said that the mosquito-killing machines had proved very effective in trials at Hong Kong Park in May this year, and more such machines had been installed at outdoor venues to protect the public's health.

The mosquito-killing machines mimic the human body by emitting carbon dioxide, heat and moisture that insects mistake for the breath of their prey. At the same time, the machines vacuum the insects into a net, where they are killed.

"We have so far installed 43 mosquito-killing machines at our leisure venues and 17 others will be set up. Their installation will greatly intensify the anti-mosquito measures at our venues," the spokesman said.

The department has long taken vigorous preventive measures against dengue fever at its leisure and cultural venues by eliminating accumulations of stagnant water where mosquitoes might breed.

"The department today (September 8) mounted a territory-wide special anti-mosquito operation at all its major leisure and cultural venues. Special attention was paid to removing stagnant water from clogged channels, ponds, tree holes, bamboo stumps, flowerpots and other containers," said the spokesman.

Chemicals such as larvicidal oil were applied on stagnant water that could not immediately be eliminated to control mosquito larvae.

The circulation systems of fountains and ponds were inspected to make sure they were working properly, all receptacles were emptied, and all water containers, water storage tanks and wells were tightly covered.

Rubbish, including discarded bottles and tins, was removed in disposable plastic bags that were properly tied to avoid accumulations of water.

"In a sustained effort to prevent dengue fever, the department has deployed staff in 18 districts to carry out anti-mosquito measures at all our venues at least once a week, " the spokesman said.

Guidelines were issued to all venue staff as well as contractors responsible for cleansing, horticultural maintenance and venue management on specific measures to prevent mosquito breeding.

A total of 6,230 special anti-mosquito operations and 12,420 special cleansing operations were conducted between September 2002 and August 2003.

"On the educational front, we will continue to educate the public about the importance of controlling mosquitoes by displaying, distributing and broadcasting anti-mosquito publicity materials including banners, posters, leaflets, videos and VCDs at all venues," the spokesman said.

A new round of roving exhibitions at selected sports centres, parks and town halls began in July this year to further spread the message.

The spokesman said the department would use all measures at its disposal to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds and appealed to the public to help the LCSD keep its venues clean.

End/Monday, September 8, 2003

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