DENGUE cases nationwide have increased to 32,721 cases from January to March 28 compared with 23,295 during the same period last year.
Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahya said the number of deaths in the country from dengue fever had also risen to 101 compared with 59 last year.
He said that in Penang, 1,410 cases and five deaths were reported this year, compared with 516 cases and three deaths during the same period last year.
Dr Hilmi was speaking to reporters after launching the Karnival Taman Sihat at Taman Pondok Upeh in Balik Pulau, Penang, on Sunday.
“The breeding of mosquitoes in dirty housing areas has contributed directly to the increase in dengue fever victims,” he said.
He said every housing area should initiate gotong-royong projects to ensure that they are free from the Aedes mosquitoes.
Apathy, he said, was the biggest enemy in eradicating dengue.
“People should be concerned about keeping their environment clean,” he added.
Dr Hilmi, who is also Balik Pulau MP, later approved RM50,000 for the upgrading of the surau at Taman Pondok Upeh.
About 300 people attended the carnival, where free medical check-ups were conducted by staff from the Balik Pulau district hospital. The carnival also included games for children and a lucky draw.