Colombo, July 10 (newsin.asia) – The Sri Lankan government, on Monday said it would impose a new tax on abandoned lands in the Western Province as the death toll from the dengue epidemic hit over 225.
Chief Minister of the Western Province, Isuru Dewapriya said the government would charge a 2 percent tax on the total value of the abandoned land from its owners in order to curb the spread of the mosquito borne disease.
The Epidimiology Unit of Sri Lanka, in its latest update said that to date, 80,732 people had been infected with dengue and approximately 43.22 percent of dengue cases were reported from the Western province.
This is the worst ever dengue outbreak to hit the island country, health workers said.
“This situation warrants regular removal of possible mosquito breeding sites from the environment. It is also important to seek medical attention in the event of fever by day three of the illness,” the Epidimiology Unit said.
The government has already deployed 400 soldiers and police officers to clear away rotting garbage, stagnant water pools and other potential mosquito-breeding grounds, throughout the country.
The Navy is also presently engaged in clearing waterways in capital Colombo from garbage which has been hindering the free flow of water.
The number of infected people with dengue nationwide is already 38 percent higher than last year, when 55,150 people were diagnosed with dengue and 97 died, according to the Health Ministry.
Both local and state hospitals have been overcrowded with patients leading to a shortage of beds prompting the army to build two temporary wards at the Negombo Base Hospital, just outside the capital.
President Maithripala Sirisena has urged public and private sectors as well as politicians to join hands in fulfilling their respective duties to combat the spread of dengue virus around the country.