RM500 fine – on the spot

Aedes mosquitoes: Dr Chan warns  authorities will not be lenient

KUCHING: If aedes mosquitoes are found breeding in your premises, you’d get a RM500 compound on the spot.Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan yesterday said there would be no more one-week notices to give time to owners of premises to destroy the breeding grounds of the mosquitoes.

He warned that the state government would not compromise in its effort to tackle the increasing number of dengue cases in the state.

There were 3,247 cases reported this year up till yesterday compared to 1,287 cases in the same period last year.

As the State Disaster Relief Committee chairman, Dr Chan said he already instructed officers from the Health Department and local councils to issue compounds immediately instead of the one-week notices.

“I’m warning the public now. Please don’t be surprised if we start fining people. We should not be too lenient,” he said at a press conference here.

He explained that besides a search-and-destroy exercise, the state government will fog many areas statewide starting next week.

He said the fogging would start in major towns and would eventually cover all areas in the state.

He added that the exercise might be carried out continuously for two weeks.

Fogging would cover an area up to 400 metres from a place where a positive dengue case or possible cases have been detected, said Dr Chan.

He pointed out that the committee would inform all relevant authorities about the massive fogging exercise. “If they don’t have enough machines, we would help with federal funding through the disaster committee,” he said.

With such measures, Dr Chan said he hoped it would help to bring a drastic change to the dengue situation in the state.

“We are worried about the increase in the number of dengue cases in Sarawak because this is a very sudden increase and we still do not know the reason,” he said, adding that the reported cases was the highest ever.

Dr Chan pointed out that Miri reported the most cases at 688. Kuching has 530, Sibu (319), Sarikei (245), Sri Aman (199) and Bintulu (119).

He said three deaths had been reported to date with one each in Miri, Sibu and Kuching.  The first death was reported on Sept 6 in Miri, second in Sibu on Oct 7 and third in Kuching on Oct 22. Two deaths were reported last year.

Dr Chan explained that the surge in the number of reported cases might be related to the public awareness of the Influenza A(H1N1) pandemic as both diseases shared similar symptoms.

“Because people are more aware of the influenza, more people go to health clinics. This is how we are able to detect the dengue cases early and more cases have been reported,” he said.

He urged all parties to work together with the state government in the exercise and a small effort could help to save a life.

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