PETALING JAYA: Melaka’s plans to release more mosquitoes infected with the Wolbachia micro-organism to fight dengue is being hampered by the inability to produce more of them.
Health director Dr Rusdi Abd Rahman said they had only been able to breed around 50,000 of those mosquitoes a week.
“If we can breed two to three million Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes a week, maybe this project can be expanded to more dengue hotspots,” Bernama reported him as saying.
The health department intends to release the Wolbachia micro-organisms in more areas, especially in Melaka Tengah, in stages to reduce dengue cases in the state.
Other targeted areas are Kota Laksamana, Sungai Udang and Bukit Baru.
“We depend on many parties, including the Institute for Medical Research (IMR), to produce these mosquito eggs,” Rusdi said.
He said that although no deaths were recorded due to dengue in the state during the 39th epidemiological week that ended on Sept 30, dengue cases recorded an increase of 96.61% to 869 cases compared with 442 cases in the same period last year.
As of Sept 30, he said the department had inspected 67,344 premises in the state. Of that, 7,793 were found to be breeding grounds for the Aedes mosquito, the carrier of the dengue virus.
“A total of 549 compound notices involving fines of RM274,500 were also issued. Another 248 cases were registered in court for ignoring compound notices and 79 were convicted of the offence,” he added.