PETALING JAYA: A special ministerial task force is to be set up to tackle the increasing number of dengue cases in the country, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
He said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will head the task force, which will include
the Health, Housing and Local Government, and Works Ministers. It will work closely with state governments, local councils and relevant agencies.
“With the setting up of the task force, the Government hopes to curb immediately the rise in dengue cases and at the same time implement preventive measures more effectively throughout the country,” the Prime Minister added in a statement yesterday.
It was reported that there had been a 248% spike in the number of dengue cases this year and a 228% increase in the number of deaths.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr
S. Subramaniam said that the number of reported dengue cases throughout the country this year had risen to 42,229 cases compared to 12,143 cases for the corresponding period last year.
As of June 21, 82 people have died of dengue nationwide, compared to 25 deaths over the corresponding period last year.
Meanwhile, Selangor Health, Entrepreneur Development, Science and Technology and Innovation Committee chairman Dr Daroyah Alwi said the state would conduct a pilot test on a device developed to attract and kill mosquitoes.
Daroyah said the device would be tested out next month at one of the hotspots in Selangor.
She did not elaborate on the device but said: “We hope it will help decrease the population of Aedes mosquitoes significantly.”
From June 22 to 28, the state recorded 1,208 dengue cases, which she termed as “quite high”.
“We expect to reduce the number to below 1,000 cases per week. Our ideal target will be below 500 cases per week,” said Daroyah.
From January to June this year, the cumulative cases recorded by the state were 25,405 cases with 34 deaths, she said.
Daroyah added that a total of 77 hotspots had been identified in Selangor, with districts such as Petaling, Klang, Hulu Langat and Gombak recording a high number of dengue cases.
From June 22 to June 28 alone, Daroyah said, Petaling recorded the highest number of cases in Selangor with 526, followed by Klang (244), Hulu Langat (226) and Gombak (139).
In Penang, state Health Department director Datuk Dr Lailanor Ibrahim maintained that fogging was still the best solution to kill adult mosquitoes.
Dr Lailanor said there were no reports from the Health Ministry- saying mosquitoes were becoming immune to the pesticides used in fogging.