KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 — Meetings of the Cabinet Committee to Combat Dengue have been reactivated after dengue cases surged more than 400 per cent this year, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

He said as at March 25, a total of 26,222 dengue cases had been reported, compared to 8,124 cases in the same period last year, with deaths due to dengue fever complications also rising to 17 cases from four cases previously.

“Therefore, to resolve this issue we will get non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and volunteer doctors to make scheduled visits to districts or specific locations known for the spread of Aedes mosquitoes.

“For this we will not be seeking additional allocations but will adopt corporate social responsibility (CSR) approaches like mobilising assets of NADMA (National Disaster Management Agency) outside the flood season to ferry equipment for the (anti-dengue) operations,” he said.

Ahmad Zahid said this at a press conference after chairing a meeting of the Cabinet Committee to Combat Dengue at Parliament building here today. Also present was Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa.

Ahmad Zahid said among the prevention methods which would be intensified was the use of BioGel to trap and kill Aedes mosquitoes.

“Another method is the use of Wolbachia mosquitoes to fight Aedes. This is a new method which is generally cheaper,” he said.

He said the annual allocation for fighting dengue was RM240 million, but the government strategy was to use only one eighth of this amount.

He said the committee had agreed to establish a high-level committee to combat dengue at the state level, which will streamline operations at dengue hotspots in districts, mukim, villages and housing estates.

Ahmad Zahid is confident that the Unity Government could achieve the zero dengue target by the end of its term as it was committed in the fight against the disease.


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