The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Wednesday urged local government units (LGUs) to implement countermeasures against dengue as the country saw a huge spike in cases this year.

In a statement, Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos said LGUs should be proactive against dengue with more face-to-face classes being held.

“Dengue remains to be a public health threat and with the escalating cases in the country today, LGUs must take a proactive stance and implement strategies to protect our people in the communities from this deadly disease,” he said.

According to Department of Health data, the country’s dengue cases rose by 143 percent this year.

The country recorded 118,785 dengue cases from Jan. 1 to Aug. 13 this year, which is more than double the 48,867 cases tallied during the same period last year.

Abalos said anti-dengue measures should be more intense at the barangay level.

He also urged the public to actively search and destroy mosquito breeding sites; seek early consultation; exercise self-protection; and only approve of fogging in hotspot areas where an increase is registered for two consecutive weeks. John Ezekiel J. Hirro