KUALA LUMPUR: There are plans to increase the RM500 fine imposed on companies found breeding Aedes mosquitoes, says Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye.
"The law can be improved if it was better enforced, but we are also reviewing the fine imposed on companies for Aedes mosquito breeding," he said when answering a supplementary question by Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim (BN-Baling) in Dewan Rakyat on Monday (Dec 2).
Abdul Azeez asked if there were any plans to increase the RM500 fine under the Destruction of Disease-Bearing Insects Act 1975.
He raised the issue after Dr Lee informed the House of the sharp rise in the number of dengue cases nationwide this year.
Abdul Azeez said the meagre RM500 could not serve as a deterrent for companies and those in charge of construction sites guilty of breeding Aedes mosquitoes.
Earlier, Dr Lee said there was an increase of 46 deaths in dengue cases so far this year.
"As of November 27 this year, a total of 118,416 dengue cases were reported, which represents a 69.5% increase, as compared with 48,567 cases reported for the same period last year.
"A total of 164 deaths were reported in the same period, as compared with 118 deaths last year," he said when answering a question by Alice Lau (PH-Lanang).
Dr Lee said the sharp rise in dengue cases was not confined to Malaysia, but also affecting neighbouring countries such as Singapore, the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, China and Taiwan, by between one to eight fold.
He said Sarawak was among the states which saw a drastic rise in dengue cases.
"A total of 2,310 cases were reported as compared with 687 cases for the same period last year.
"This represents an increase by 1,623 cases or 236.2%," he said.
But Dr Lee said there were only two dengue deaths recorded in Sarawak this year, as compared with one death last year.
He said the ministry was considering the release of the Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes in specific locations in Sarawak.
So far, the Wolbachia mosquitoes have been released in 11 locations in the Klang Valley.
Dr Lee said studies had found that the presence of the Wolbachia mosquitoes could reduce dengue cases by between 50% and 70%.
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