Construction work at project site temporarily halted following dengue outbreak


Billy (second left) puts on the temporary closure order at the site, as others look on.

Mosquite larva can be seen in these two collected samples from the site.

KUCHING: Construction work is now temporarily halted at the project site of the Sarawak Museum Campus and Heritage Trail project, following a dengue outbreak at the area.

The Sarawak Health Department through Kuching Divisional Health Office has issued the temporary closure order at the site, effective Sept 21 (last Friday) until this Friday (Sept 28).

The order was issued under Section 8(3)(a) of the Destruction of Disease-Bearing Insects Act 1975 (Amendment 2000).

Sarawak Health Director Dr Jamilah Hashim said the project site was also declared as dengue outbreak area after nine persons from the locality were infected with dengue as of Monday (Sept 24).

The nine persons comprised six workers at the project site and three member of the public working nearby.

“After the outbreak was declared on Sept 9, we conducted check at the site and found 11 Aedes mosquito breeding spots. Following this offence, five compounds were issued and another six offences are in prosecution process against the project developer.

“However, another check conducted on Sept 20 found out there were still Aedes mosquite breeding spots at the site. As a consequence, the temporary closure order at the site was issued for a period of seven days effective Sept 21,” she said.

She explained the temporary closure order was meant to provide opportunity to the project developers to perform cleaning work and destroy the mosquito breeding spots.

At the same time, the occupants and owners of premises surrounding the outbreak area were also advised to do cleaning works and clearing up of mosquito breeding spots at their respective places.

“Sarawak Health Department is always committed and cooperates with all agencies in the effort to control and address any dengue fever outbreak for the well-being of the Sarawak.”

Meanwhile, the state’s chief environmental health officer Billy Sujang who led the search and destroy of the mosquito breeding spots, said the contractors at the site were very cooperative.

“Cooperation from the contractors were superb as they also aggressively did the search and destroy activities of the Aedes mosquitoes when we were them from Sept 21 to 23,” added Billy, also head of inspectorate and legislation section at the Sarawak Health Department.

Based on previous news reports, the Sarawak Museum Campus and Heritage Trail project was estimated to cost RM308 million and scheduled for completion in June 2020.

The Sarawak Museum Campus in particular, is reported to be state-of-the-art and set to one of the finest in the region when completed.