Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Answers to Oral Questions by Chiew Chiu Sing DUN November 09 Sitting


(6) Y.B. Encik Chiew Chiu Sing asked the Minister for Environment and Public Health:

(a) The extent of the spread of the Chikungunya Virus in human throughout the whole State of Sarawak;
(b) The ways which the Public Health Department use to determine the virus and how long is the process taking;
(c) The steps taken by the ministry to overcome and control the spread of the disease,
(d) Whether there is a vaccine available; and
(e) The extent and success of fogging carried out thus far.

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam (Y.B. Dato
Sri Wong Soon Koh): Tuan Speaker, for the information of Ahli Yang Berhormat for
Kidurong, the number of Chikungunya cases up to the end of October 2009 is as follows:

No. Area Amount
Kuching 38
1. Asajaya 150
2. Serian 25
3. Simunjan 85
4. Betong 358
5. Saratok 36
6. Sarikei 21
7. Meradong 1
8. Pakan 2
9. Mukah 1
10. Matu Daro 23
11. Sibu 234
12. Bintulu 42
13. Lawas 26
Total: 1,042

Tuan Speaker, question (b), the Chikungunya virus can be detected or determined through both clinical as well as laboratory diagnosis. The result from the laboratory diagnosis could be known immediately. Whereas the laboratory diagnosis will take approximately three days.

Tuan Speaker, question (c), the Health Department have taken various steps to prevent or control the spread of the disease such as by carrying out search and destroy or reducing or eliminating the breeding grounds of the mosquitoes and, of course, insecticide fogging.

For question (d), so far, no vaccine is available to prevent the infection of this disease.

As to question (e), Tuan Speaker, up to the end of October 2009, the Health Department has carried out 20,634 fogging of the premises in all the localities where Chikungunya has been detected and it has been found to be very effective in preventing the spread of the disease, Chikungunya. Thank you.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat for Kidurong.

Y.B. Encik Chiew Chiu Sing: (Supplementary Question) Supplementary question to the Honourable Minister. Honourable Minister gave the figure of 36, 6 in Sarikei from what I had a conversation with Doctor in Sarikei this morning, he said that the cases that he has reported to the authority concerned was already 500 and the number is quite different, will the Minister check on that please. And then although there are some of the measures that you said you are going to do, search and destroy and keeping the environment clean and all that, but in view of the extend of the spread of the disease, this virus which is quite alarming really in the last few months, there have been so many of them, whether these steps, how are you going to step up your effort in these measures that you are taking so that we can reduce this Chikungunya virus being spread, that is one question. The second question is that, whether the Honourable Minister agree with me that the climate has actually played a part in the breeding of the mosquitoes and when the mosquitoes steps out their breeding or whether what kind of measures that the ministry will step out in doing to fight the virus that is spreading. Thank you.

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): Tuan Speaker, these are the figures, official figures of my Health Department even I realize that perhaps say on the worse bank of Sibu there was this quite widespread infection of Chikungunya of the people there and of course even here, Sibu 234 probably I would also think that the figure is a bit low. But as you know, a lot of people who got infected with this Chikungunya virus, in fact they recover after two or three days, lying in bed with a great deal of liquid, fluid and so on they just recover. Chikungunya is not a deadly disease. It is quite common except that a person who gets it will have a great deal of pain in the joints and so on. But we are trying our best to implement our control measures for this Chikungunya. As I said, insecticide fogging in the locality normally up to a distance of 200 metres radius from the case house, in other words, there exists Chikungunya which is detected but of course if there are to two a more cases detected in the same area, then fogging will cover 400 metres radius. Inspection of the premises for the breeding ground of the mosquitoes is carried out all the time.

We will also try our best not just the officers from the Health Department, from the local councils but also try to tell the people to remove unwanted water container drums, basins and so on then of course we also have the applications of lavaecide to control breeding in the known or potential mosquito breeding places particularly in the water containers. I would also like to encourage people to carry out gotong royong at the locality level where mosquito breeding is found. All these I must say are being done. As I said all people must have self discipline trying to help one another because this sort disease can be spread through mosquito bites and in order to control the disease we ought to get rid of the mosquitoes and the mosquito breeding grounds. When all of us help an am sure that we can prevent this disease from spreading. Thank you.

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