PUTRAJAYA - Barely three months into the new school year, dengue fever has claimed the lives of 10 schoolchildren in Malaysia.
Deputy Education Minister II P. Kamalanathan said that out of the 18,165 reported dengue cases from January till March 2 this year, 3,571 (19.6 per cent) cases involved schoolchildren.
"The ministry views the alarming rate of increase in dengue cases seriously and we are working closely with the Health Ministry to keep the situation under control," Kamalanathan told reporters after launching the Dengue Patrol Programme 2014 on Wednesday.
He said that besides maintaining the cleanliness of school compounds, surrounding areas should also be kept clear of dengue breeding grounds.
Out of the 10 dengue fatalities involving schoolchildren, four were primary school pupils while the rest were in secondary school.