PUTRAJAYA: Plans are afoot to extend the operating hours of government health clinics to accommodate the rising number of dengue patients, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.
The move followed a 251% increase in dengue cases recorded in the first four weeks of this month, when 7,370 cases were reported against 2,098 in the same period last year.
A total of 2,229 cases were recorded throughout last week alone, marking a new weekly record high for dengue cases in the country’s history, he added.
“The number of patients in hospitals has increased significantly, especially at the emergency departments, where there is a need to reduce the load.
“There are already some health clinics that are open until 10pm, but we will study the possibility of extending their operating hours, especially at high-density areas in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, where the load is heavy at the hospitals.
“Not all dengue cases require patients to be warded as some can be monitored without being warded depending on the doctor’s instructions,” he said at the ministry here yesterday.
He said a recent study conducted by the ministry found that the reproduction rate of the Aedes mosquitoes remained high in Penang (3.8%), followed by Sarawak (3.7%), Perlis (2.6%), Malacca (2.2%), Negri Sembilan (2.1%), Selangor (1.7%), Sabah (1.6%), and Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya (1.5%).
Dr Subramaniam called on owners of premises that ensure that their places are free of Aedes mosquitos.