BUKIT MERTAJAM: The number of dengue cases in Penang has increased between 10 and 20 per cent since May, the Health Ministry warned today.
Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye said Penang recorded a total of 2,528 dengue cases from January until July this year, an increase of 74.95 per cent compared to last year.
He said during the corresponding period in 2017, Penang recorded only 1,445 dengue cases.
Dr Lee said the spike in the number of dengue cases involved all five districts in the state, especially Seberang Prai on the mainland, as well as the northeast and southwest districts on the island.
“We have set up a special squad to ensure that cleaning-up efforts, investigation and control of cases, enforcement and health education can be carried out promptly.
“This squad will also identify problem areas so that prevention and control of dengue can be conducted effectively,” he said during the Gotong Royong Mega 1.0 programme in Taman Pauh Indah here today.
Present were state Health Committee chairman Dr Afif Bahardin and state Health Department director Datuk Dr Wan Mansor Hamzah.
Dr Lee said all agencies and members of society should play their part to keep dengue at bay.
Dr Lee said the country recorded a total of 38,190 dengue cases from January until July this year, compared to 55,744 cases during the same period in 2017.
“That is a drop of 31.5 per cent or 17,554 cases.
“The number of total deaths due to dengue also dropped to 61 cases compared to 131 deaths during the same period last year,” he added.
Meanwhile, Dr Lee said as of Thursday (July 26), the number of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) in Penang increased to 2,755 cases compared to 1,117 cases during the same period last year.
He added that a total of 109 premises have been closed until further notice, and another 23 premises will remain closed for the next 10 days.
"This includes primary schools, kindergartens, pre-schools and child care centres."