Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Govt to declare dengue hot spots as outbreak areas
SHAH ALAM: The government will declare dengue hot spots as outbreak areas if dengue cases continue to rise, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
He said such a move would give full power to the health minister to implement prevention and control initiatives in accordance to the Destruction of Disease-Bearing Insects Act 1975 (Amendment 2000).
“The residents cannot object and the local authorities cannot stop if the area is declared as an outbreak area because, if it is not addressed, it will bring about a bigger disaster.
“We will enforce this matter seriously and I would like to warn that all enforcement provisions will be used, including imposing compounds listed under the act to address the problem,” he told a media conference after a working inspection in conjunction with the dengue fever prevention campaign at the I-City condominium site at Section 7 here yesterday.
From January to July 17 this year, 50,804 dengue cases were reported nationwide, an increase of 36,222 cases or 248 per cent from only 14,582 cases for the same period last year.
Ninety-four deaths from dengue fever were also reported, a rise of 224 per cent from only 29 deaths during the same period in 2013.
Earlier Muhyiddin, who was accompanied by Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S Subramaniam and his deputy, Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya and Deputy Works Minister Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin, also made a working visit to Kampung Padang Jawa here, one of the dengue hot spots in Selangor.
On his visit to the kampung, the deputy prime minister said, he had received complaints that the contractors responsible did not clean up the rubbish or solid wastes as often as possible given that the area was densely populated and houses closely located.
He said similar problems occurred in many other areas in Selangor due to the state government’s failure to fully implement the Soil Waste Management and Public Cleanliness Act.
“The state government appoint contractors but the work done was inadequate, so it is my worry that if it is not fully implemented by competent contractors with sufficient equipment, then the current outbreak in Selangor will continue,” he said.
Currently 66 per cent of the dengue outbreak in the country occurred in Selangor. As such, Muhyiddin urged the Selangor government, especially the local authorities, to play their respective roles more seriously to reduce dengue fever cases in the state.
On controlling dengue fever outbreak in constructon sites, he said, his ministry had received feedback from the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) that revealed the level of awareness among the community involved in the construction projects such as project owners, contractors, consultants, project managers and workers were still low.
Citing his inspection at the I-City condominium site, he found that dengue outbreak control in the area was also still low.
Hence, he said, to address the matter CIDB had emphasised that all professional consultants, especially architects and engineers involved in the design, played their roles in ensuring their sites were free from becoming aedes mosquito-breeding areas and to give priority to the safety of the people in the vicinity of the construction areas.
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