Saturday, 10 September 2016

No ruling yet on mosquito traps, says Abdul Karim

September 10, 2016

SIBU: Despite the detection of Zika virus in the country, the state Housing Ministry has not made any ruling on the requirement to install mosquito traps on all new housing projects.

Assistant Minister for Housing Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said Sarawak Housing Ministry would wait and see on the extent of the virus before making a stand.

He said this following disclosure by Minister of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Tan Sri Noh Omar that developers were now required to install mosquito traps at all new housing projects following the detection of Zika cases in the country.

Noh Omar reportedly said the requirement must be met before any new developer’s licence was approved.

“We know that any new ‘additional installation’ on houses will mean an additional cost to developers and end users and this will not help the housing industry.

“We understand the danger posed by Zika virus but putting up netting to houses is just one of the preventive measures for one not to be bitten by mosquitoes but not a permanent solution,” said Abdul Karim, who is also Assistant Minister for Youth and Sports.

He said the federal ministry also needed to look at other ways to prevent the breeding of Aedes mosquitoes.

He added that blocked drains, improper dumping of garbage, unwanted tyres, abandoned housing projects, stagnant water and blocked gutters were among mosquito breeding grounds which should be scrutinised by the ministry.

“Also, we need to see whether this Asian Zika virus is as dangerous as its counterparts in the Americas.

“We have been plagued by dengue virus for many years and it is this same Aedes mosquito that is also the source of Zika virus.

“Is this Zika virus more dangerous than dengue, which prompted the federal housing minister to make an immediate stand on the net installation issue without seeking views of those in the industry?

“Sarawak Housing Ministry will wait and see the extent of this virus before making a stand. If the need requires we will make an official announcement,” Abdul Karim said.

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