Perak sees 38% spike in dengue cases

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IPOH: Perak has seen a 38% spike in the number of dengue cases so far this year, with a total of 358 cases recorded as of May 28, up by 98 from the 260 cases reported last year.

Kinta district, which comprises Ipoh and Batu Gajah, has the highest number of cases with 203, followed by Larut, Matang and Selama district with 33, Manjung (28), Hilir Perak (20), Kampar (18) and Hulu Perak (16), according to the state health department’s website.

Dr Richard Ng, president of non-governmental organisation Ipoh City Watch, said he believes one of the reasons for the increase in cases, particularly in Ipoh, was due to the increase in illegal dumpsites.

Ng, who is also an Ipoh city councillor, said concessionaires were facing manpower shortage and could not clear the piles of rubbish.

“There was an outbreak of Covid-19 cases among foreign workers in September last year and many have been sent back to their countries.

“With the reopening of more economic sectors in August last year, a lot of the workers also quit to join other sectors that offered higher wages,” he said, adding that the freeze by the government meant that foreign workers were not available.

Other factors, he said, included houses that had been abandoned.

Housewife PY Wong, in her 50s, said she had noticed more mosquitoes at her home in Desa Lang Indah in the past few weeks compared to during the movement control order.

“Just a few weeks ago, there were some people who came to do fogging in the area,” she said.

Wong has equipped her home with various items to deal with the problem.

“I have an electric repellent vaporiser plugged in 24/7 and an electric swatter,” she said.

Businesswoman Mel Lim, in her 60s, said she checks her house for containers regularly to make sure there was no water collected.

In Johor Baru, state exco man for health and unity Ling Tian Soon said people needed to just spend 10 to 15 minutes to carry out search and destroy work to get rid of breeding grounds at their homes.

“This is the most effective and cheapest way to fight dengue. And takes just 10 to 15 minutes,” he said yesterday.

Ling said the state health department has roped in 303 Communication for Behavioural Impact (Combi) teams to educate the public on the importance of conducting search and destroy work.

“However, the number of Combi teams is still not enough and we urge residents associations and Rukun Tetangga members to join us in the fight,” he said.

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