Keep mosquitoes at bay, teachers told

PENANG: Headmasters and teachers must ensure the cleanliness of their schools during the one-week holiday in view of the high number of dengue cases reported nationwide.  

Health Ministry parliamentary secretary Datuk Lee Kah Choon said school authorities must continue to clean up their compounds to prevent them from becoming breeding grounds for aedes mosquitoes. 

“When students return to schools next week, we want the premises to be aedes-free,” he said, adding that the current hot weather with intermittent rain was very conducive for mosquito breeding.  

Lee was speaking to re-porters yesterday after inspecting potential mosquito-breeding grounds in the Batu Uban constituency which recorded a high number of suspected dengue cases over the past three weeks. 

Lee said factories, government-owned office premises and open spaces were found to be the main mosquito-breeding grounds. 

“We will not hesitate to issue compound notices to those found to have breeding grounds within their surroundings,” he added. 

Noting that about 700 suspected dengue cases were recorded nationwide last week, Lee said: “The cases are far too many and the ministry is very concerned over the matter.” 

The number of suspected dengue cases in Penang had increased almost two fold from 30 to 58 cases within two weeks since Feb 19, he said. 

He added that most of the cases were from the northeast district with hotspots in Taman Lip Sin, the police quarters and a Desa Permai Indah apartment block, all located in Sungai Dua. 

Batu Uban assemblyman Goh Kheng Sneah, who was also present, expressed his frustration over the authorities' lackadaisical attitude. 

“Whenever I brought up the matter during meetings with the relevant departments, I was told that their hands were tied due to lack of funds,” he added.  

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