Construction sites play host to mosquitoes

Construction sites play host to mosquitoes

PETALING JAYA - Six per cent of construction sites inspected last year were found to harbour mosquito breeding habitats, said the Health Ministry.

"Of the 35,768 sites inspected, 2,123 were found to have mosquito breeding habitats," said Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

A total of 912 compounds with a cumulative amount of RM456,000 (S$170,000) were issued, while a developer was charged in court before being fined a total of RM35,000.

Other than fines, Dr Noor Hisham said another 756 sites were asked to either treat, destroy or remove all existing or potential mosquito breeding habitats under Section 8 of the Destruction of Disease-Bearing Insects Act 1975.

The remaining 455 sites had been instructed to stop work temporarily for cleanups.

Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry was collaborating with other agencies for enforcement activities at construction sites.

The agencies include the Construction Industry Development Board, Department of Occupational Safety and Health, and Department of Public Works.

Dr Noor Hisham added that there were 108,698 dengue cases with 215 deaths last year compared to 43,346 cases with 92 deaths in 2013, an increase of 151 per cent and 134 per cent, respectively.

"The number of dengue cases reported for the first two weeks this year is still high," he said, adding that each hospital had its own contingency plan to manage the shortage of beds during severe dengue outbreaks, he said.

Dr Noor Hisham said in the event of a surge in cases, additional beds, canvas beds or extension beds would be used in medical wards.

If all suitable areas in the medical wards had been occupied, the hospital would open up cubicles or utilise beds in non-medical wards with low bed-occupancy rates and first or second class wards to house dengue patients who are in stable condition, he added.

"A dengue management team will be responsible to review all dengue patients in non-medical wards to ensure their management is not compromised," he said.

Suitable areas in hospitals would also be converted to a lounge for discharged patients waiting for family members to pick them up, with these areas equipped with comfortable seats and meals.

"With these measures, hospital beds would be made available as early as possible for any new dengue admissions," he said.

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