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Some government agencies in Penang also take part in the national level Mega Gotong-Royong programme held simultaneously at 15 areas nationwide. Pix by Shahnaz Fazlie Shahrizal

PETALING JAYA: Dengue cases in the country recorded an alarming increase with more than 50 per cent cases were reported in Selangor.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S.Subramaniam said a total of 102,217 cases were reported nationwide as of Nov 6 this year - an increase of 16 per cent compared to last year.

"We recorded a total of 102,217 cases nationwide and 282 death as of Nov 6 compared to only 86,192 cases and 162 deaths within the same period last year.

"As usual, Selangor recorded the highest numbers of cases with 54,062 followed by Johor and Perak," he said at the launch of the national level Mega Gotong-Royong programme at Kampung Sg Kayu Ara, Petaling Jaya.

The numbers of hotspot in Selangor, Dr Subramaniam said has however reduced about 50 per cent to less than 100 hotspot areas.

Dr Subramaniam said the ministry is aiming at reducing the numbers of dengue cases into a more manageable level to ensure the control mechanism taken by the ministry to be more effective.

"I do not dare to target for free dengue nation but we are hoping to reduce the numbers of cases as much as possible so that our officers can be more focus in combating the disease.

"When there are cases of dengue reported, we have to follow the standard operating procedures. Our officers will conduct a cleaning within 200 metres radius from the reported area.

"With the amount of officers that we have we may get the optimal results from our control measures if its involved 100 houses but what if its involved 3000 houses?, for example," he said adding that the high numbers of cases causes the control measure efforts to only achieved 30 to 40 per cent of its target.

Dr Subramaniam said public should also play their role to combat the disease.

"We can take various actions to fight dengue but if the public continue to litter and dump rubbish from the window of their apartment then all the efforts would be wasted.

"The high percentage of foreign workers in certain areas also contribute to this (increase in number of cases) so that is why we have a representative from the Indonesian embassy to help us to send the message to the Indonesian people," he said.

The gotong-royong programme, he added, was held simultaneously at 15 areas nationwide, except for Malacca and Johor.

Dr Subramaniam said the gotong-royong would focus on illegal dumping spots and vacant lands which contributed 18 per cent to mosquito breeding.

"Irresponsible land owners who abandoned their land and left it into becoming aedes breading spot would be issued with notice from the local authority, but some of them would just ignore.

"We hope the local authorities would take action to clear the areas and slapped them with fine or charged them with the amount of cleaning their land," he said.

The gotong-royong was also joined by several others agencies such as the Royal Malaysia Police, Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) and People' Volunteer Corps (Rela) which conducted the clean-up process at their centres.

On Kampung Sg Kayu Ara, Dr Subramaniam said the area recorded an increase of 128 per cent in the numbers of cases compared to last year.

"The area has 372 reported cases with 2 death from January to Oct this year. Illegal dumping spaces and abandoned lots which became the mosquitoes breeding grounds was found to be the contributors to this," he said

Meanwhile on the Typhoid epidemic, Dr Subramaniam said the last case reported was on Oct 16 and the government would declare the country to be free from the latest outbreak at the end of the week which is three weeks after the last case were reported.

He added that 60 cases were reported throughout the epidemic, 42 cases were reported at Kuala Lumpur while the rest were reported at Selangor.