GEORGE TOWN: While Chinese families are getting paper offerings including Musang King durian ready for the Qing Ming festival, Penangites are advised to practise hygiene and cleanliness, and not turn cemeteries into a breeding ground for Aedes mosquitoes.
Penang Welfare, Caring Society and Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said 110 dengue cases were reported in the 12th week (March 17 to March 23) compared to 85 cases between March 10 and March 16, which was an increase of 25 cases (29.41%).
“Until March 23, there were 2,046 cases compared to 948 for the whole of last year. This is an increase of 1,098 cases (115.82%).
“Up to the 12th week, there were seven deaths due to dengue compared to only one last year.
“It is equivalent to a 600% hike,” he said during a press conference at Komtar on Tuesday.
He urged the public not to throw rubbish indiscriminately at the cemetery as mosquitoes could use containers to breed.
“The durian season is coming soon and we should dispose of the durian shells properly, so that they will not accumulate water and become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
“If there are traces of Aedes mosquitoes at houses or public areas, please contact my department.
“Mosquitocide is available at the district offices and assemblymen’s service centres,” said Phee.
Meanwhile, most shops selling praying paraphernalia reported good business in the last few weeks as the Chinese community gets set for Qing Ming.
Among the hottest items is a set of tropical fruits, including Musang King. Other popular items this year are backpacks, Baba Nyonya traditional costumes and skincare kits.
The Qing Ming (Chinese All Souls Day or Tomb-Sweeping Day) festival falls on April 5.