JOHOR BARU: Various states have stepped up their vigilance against the worsening dengue menace by directing hospitals to brace for the expected spike in cases and taking action to curb the breeding of Aedes mosquitoes.
Johor Health and Environment Committee chairman Datuk Ayub Rahmat wants the two main public hospitals here – the Sultanah Aminah Hospital and Sultan Ismail Hospital Pandan – to have contingency plans to treat dengue patients.
“Both hospitals recorded an increase of 5% to 10% in dengue admissions last year. The figure is likely to go up this year.
“Last year, our wards were full and we had to place extra beds in the corridors of the two hospitals to treat patients,” said Ayub.
He said 513 cases were recorded from Jan 1 to 9 in the state – compared to 128 cases for the same period last year – with some 80% of the cases coming from the Johor Baru district.
There were 15,000 dengue cases in the state last year, with 52 deaths recorded.
He said the state authorities would beef up its enforcement operations at construction sites, which had been identified as the main breeding ground for Aedes mosquitoes.
In MALACCA, the state is bracing for an increase, especially in Melaka Tengah.
The number has increased by 52% with 93 cases recorded between Jan 3 and 11, compared with the same period last year.
State Health Department director Datuk Dr Ghazali Othman urged patients to seek treatment early.
“We expect a rise in the number of cases because of the warmer-than-usual weather caused by the El Nino effects,” he said.
Dr Ghazali said if the pattern continued, his medical team would be in for a tough time.
“We need to look into remedial measures. But our best option is to destroy breeding grounds at source. This needs everybody’s cooperation, especially residents from the Melaka Tengah district,” he said.
Dr Ghazali noted that although the three hospitals in the state could still manage the swelling number of patients, there was a need for a contingency plan should the figures soar beyond capacity.
In IPOH, the state has called upon the public to be its “agents” to catch litterbugs who are indiscriminately creating dump sites.
Perak Health Committee chairman Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon said illegal dump sites were among several factors that promoted the breeding of Aedes mosquitoes.
“There are some 186 tonnes of garbage caused by illegal dump sites. We hope the people can become our agents and take photographs of those responsible,” he said after chairing an anti-dengue meeting yesterday.
“We managed to reduce the number of hotspots from 40 to four last year but the number has increased again.”
As of Jan 9, there were 126 dengue cases recorded, compared to 349 cases in the same period last year.
“Despite the drop, we will continue to combat the menace,” he added.
In KUALA TERENGGANU, Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Razif Abd Rahman has directed an integrated gotong-royong be held throughout the state on Saturday to find and destroy Aedes mosquito-breeding grounds.
“It is also to identify suitable methods of garbage disposal because most of the localities affected by the epidemic are inaccessible to garbage trucks,” he told reporters after a dinner on Monday.