DBKL: Community participation needed to prevent outbreak

WITH dengue cases soaring in the Klang Valley, authorities are urging the public to be more engaged as a community to control the spread of dengue and prevent an outbreak.

Inspection of compounds and mosquito-proofing homes were some of the simple actions that could go a long way to reduce

the number of dengue infections, said Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) Health Department senior deputy director Dr Umi Ahmad.

“Homeowners should conduct a weekly check of their surroundings, including rain gutters and toilets to look for mosquito breeding sites.

“Installing mosquito nets to prevent adult mosquitoes entering the premises can also help to prevent infections,” she said.

She also hoped that residents would cooperate with the authorities in managing dengue.

“Many residents are reluctant to allow our inspection officers to enter their houses and premises to check for mosquito habitats because of safety concerns.

“Although we are allowed to enter a premises under the Destruction of Disease-Bearing Insects Act 1975 to conduct inspection and control, we will advise residents that it is necessary for them to check their homes for mosquito breeding sites.”

Dr Umi said that where necessary, the officers would distribute pictures of potential breeding sites to look out for at highrise management companies and joint management bodies.

“This will make it easier for them and their residents to identify and eradicate breeding sites,” she added.

As of Sept 19, there were 8,778 confirmed dengue cases in the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.

Of that number, 8,204 were recorded in Kuala Lumpur with seven deaths so far.

In the same period in 2019, Kuala Lumpur saw 11,209 confirmed dengue cases, with five deaths.

While this was a decrease of 26.8% compared to the corresponding period last year, health authorities are on alert as certain neighbourhoods have been tagged as hotspots. There are currently six dengue hotspots in Kuala Lumpur.

Desa Tun Hussein Onn (Block C1-C5) has recorded 31 cases; Desa Wangsa Keramat (Keramat Hujung) has 21; Taman Desa Setapak (Jalan 22/27B-34/27B) has 14; Bandar Manjalara (Menara Manjalara Condominium) has 12; Warisan Cityview (11) and Vista Komanwel C with eight cases.

Dr Umi said vacant land which had been turned into illegal rubbish dumping grounds were also common mosquito breeding sites.

“Land and building owners must take responsibility and ensure that there are no health and safety concerns at their properties.”

She added that while DBKL would actively continue larvaciding and fogging activities, this was not enough as managing dengue required a coordinated effort between residents, local authorities and stakeholders.

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