Thursday March 12, 2009
When breaking in is allowed
PUTRAJAYA: Local authorities will break into vacant property suspected to be mosquito breeding grounds to carry out fogging activities, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
The local authorities are empowered to do so under the Vector Control Act if house owners fail to act on notices served on them within 14 days, he said.
“We are also considering shortening the notification from 14 days to five days as part of the effort by the Government to tackle this problem,” he told a press conference here yesterday. He said the ministry was determined to reduce dengue cases nationwide by 10,000 this year, and reduce the number of deaths from 0.22% to 0.2%.
Until March 7 this year, the number of dengue cases was 10,916, with 31 deaths. This was 35% higher than the corresponding period last year.
Liow said 53% of the deaths could be saved if patients received treatment as soon as they showed symptoms of the disease.
He said the ministry would also conduct fogging activities in a wider area – 400m radius compared to the previous 200m radius in epidemic areas.
“Local authorities must also ensure that 85% of the epidemic area is under control within two weeks.
“We will also cut the response time for fogging to between 24 and 48 hours once a dengue case is reported,” he said.