KLANG: Jalan Kantan in Ambang Botanic, where the first Zika infection case was reported, is a typical middle-range gated residential area in Klang.
Rows and rows of terrace houses stand neatly in a well-maintained neighbourhood which even comes with a man-made pond near the main entrance. The pond looks clean but the water is stagnant.
And there are mosquitoes around the area.
Father of two Simon Chong, who lives in the area, said he was surprised to see a group of eight “official” looking people inspecting the place yesterday morning.
“I did not know what was going on then but was shocked to read later that the first case of Zika infection in the country happened in my backyard,” said the retiree.
Chong, 58, said he immediately went to buy some mosquito coils and started burning them throughout his house.
“I will be doing it again tonight before going to bed and will let the coils burn for at least 10 hours while we sleep,” he added.
Ng Sow Leng, 39, who lives a few doors away from Chong, said she did not know what the Zika virus was.
“If it is dangerous and can harm my children, I hope someone can come and tell me what it is,” said the mother of two children aged eight and 10.
Veterinarian Dr Mathews Thomas who lives at nearby Bandar Botanic said the onus must be on house-owners in the entire area to ensure the virus does not infect more people.
“There are many empty houses that have been put up for rental. They are overgrown with weeds,” said Dr Thomas, 63.
According to Dr Thomas, the Klang Municipal Council (MPK) does a good job clearing up the surrounding areas but cannot do much if owners of the empty houses do not play their respective roles in keeping the place clean.
Pharmacist Julian Tze, 35, who also lives in the neighbourhood says residents have to be more alert in ensuring the place is clean.
“For my part, I am going to clean the area in my neighbourhood and get my neighbours to take part in a clean-up expedition,” said Tze.
A check on the back lane of some shops in the Botanic area revealed garbage dumped all over the place.
A sewage outlet was also found open near one of the shops.
MPK health director Azmi Muji said the council would step up its exercise in countering both dengue and Zika.
“As soon as the case was confirmed this morning, clearing-up of breeding areas as well as larviciding has been carried out in the area around and near the victim’s house by the district health department,” said Azmi.
He added that fogging would be carried out in the entire area in the evening.
Bandar Botanic Residents Association chairman Jacob Mathews urged all residents to remove stagnant water and even clean up the clogged roof gutters.
In Petaling Jaya, resident association representatives said they were “definitely worried” about a Zika outbreak.
We're sorry, this article is unavailable at the moment. If you wish to read this article, kindly contact our Customer Service team at 1-300-88-7827. Thank you for your patience - we're bringing you a new and improved experience soon!