KUCHING: The state health authorities have declared Demak Laut commercial centre as a dengue hotspot.
Assistant Minister for Public Health Datuk Dr Jerip Susil said although the commercial centre only registered 18 cases in the past six months it was nevertheless a hotspot because of the existence of a unique aedes mosquitoes’ breeding grounds – air wells at the commercial buildings.
He said that Kuching, for the last six months, recorded a ‘double increase’ in the number of cases with 181 – an increase by more than 100 per cent from the same period last year.
“They (air wells) are a time bomb. The situation is also appalling. Due to the double increase in the number of cases, the situation is alarming. Now, the number of cases in Kuching is 181 compared to 80-90 cases in the same period last year.
“The air wells provide the authorities with great challenges because they are enclosed and sometimes people throw rubbish into them,” Dr Jerip said.
He told reporters this after chairing a meeting with officials from the state Health Department, Ministry of Local Government, Kuching North City Commission (DBKU), Kuching South City Council (MBKS) and Padawan Municipal Council (PMC).
He said the commercial centre (in Demak Laut) was among the high risk areas in DBKU area of jurisdiction. The others include Kampung Datuk Ajibah Abol, Kampung Pulo Hulu, Jalan Emerald Off Jalan Green and Kampung Kudei Lama, but the situation was all under control.
The squatters colonies in Siol Kandis and Kudie Lama are high risk areas due to the unhygenic surroundings, poor drainage and poor waste disposal system, he said.
DBKU recorded 68 cases, PMC (61) and MBKS (52), Dr Jerip said, adding the next high-level meeting would be held in Sibu which has been recording the highest number of dengue cases in the state.
Dr Jerip said unlike the situation in DBKU, most of the cases in MBKS areas were due to ‘imported dengue’ rather than the environment.
He said the imported dengue cases came from dengue carriers from Sibu who passed the dengue virus to the victims here (Kuching).
“Dengue is not curable but controllable,” he explained.
Dr Jerip said people having fever for three continuous days must not assume that they have not contracted dengue.
He urged them to see a doctor if they had fever for three days.
Permanent secretary to the Ministry of Local Government Bakrie Zaini and assistant director of state Health Dept (Vector Unit) Dr T Nanthakumar were also present at the meeting.-BP