Working towards a solution: Muhyiddin chairing the meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Putrajaya. Also present are Health Minister Datuk Sri Dr S. Subramaniam (right) and Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (left).
PUTRAJAYA: The National Committee on Dengue has promised to bring down the number of dengue cases within two months, said committee chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
The Deputy Prime Minister said the committee had come up with a comprehensive action plan to address the epidemic by putting more effort and resources into dengue hotspots.
The committee consists of the Health, Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government, Works as well as the Human Resources ministries. It works with state governments, local councils and other agencies.
“The high number of dengue cases in the country is worrying,” Muhyiddin said after chairing the inaugural committee meeting here yesterday.
He added that the Government had made the two-month target as part of the key performance indicator of the various ministries and agencies involved, with monitoring by the health secretariat.
Muhyiddin said the possibility of allocating more beds for dengue patients would also be looked into, adding that the Health Ministry could request for more funds if it faced a shortage.
However, Muhyiddin warned that it would be difficult to see a drop in the number of cases if there was no cooperation from the community.
Neither did he commit to a specific quantum in reduction in the given timeline, saying that it was “difficult”, though he did add that there was no reason to declare a “dengue emergency”.
Muhyiddin also urged construction sites to clean up, failing which they could be fined up to RM50,000 and the persons in charge could be jailed up to five years.
A total of 92 people have died from dengue between Jan 1 and July 12 this year compared with 28 cases in the same period last year – a 229% increase.
Case-wise, the country recorded 48,845 cases of dengue fever for the same period this year compared to 14,126 cases for the same period last year, an increase of 246%.
Of the 492 dengue hotspots nationwide, 264 were in Selangor, 66 in Kelantan, 45 in Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, 41 in Negri Sembilan, 28 in Johor and 14 in Sarawak, with the rest in other states.