NIBONG TEBAL, July 18 — The number of dengue fever cases in Penang this year up to yesterday was 2,990, more than triple that of the corresponding period last year, said Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya.
The number of cases for the corresponding period last year was only 982, he said.
Penang remained at fourth place among the states with a large number of cases, after Selangor, Johor and Perak, he told reporters after handing over Aidilfitri goodies to staff of the Sungai Bakap Hospital here.
Dr Hilmi said the responsibility of fighting dengue rested with everyone and all should cooperate to check the breeding of the Aedes mosquito, carrier of the dengue virus.
“Penang has a similar situation as Selangor, with a large number of construction sites that offer the perfect breeding ground for the Aedes mosquito,” he said.
Dr Hilmi urged the local authorities to step up enforcement to ensure that construction sites were free of the breeding grounds of mosquitoes.
He said that as of yesterday, the number of dengue fever cases for the whole country this year stood at 64,473, much higher than the 47,871 cases for the corresponding period last year.
Dr Hilmi also said that the ministry was drafting legislation for smokers as well as tobacco products, covering also electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes.
“The process (of bringing the draft legislation to the Attorney-General’s Chambers and Cabinet) will take time because it involves many stakeholders.
“One of the proposals is to introduce tighter control on cigarette advertisements including cigarette racks behind the cash registration counter in shops,” he said. — Bernama