In the first six months of this year over 12,000 people have been infected with dengue and 75 have died in Sri Lanka, raising fears that the disease is reaching epidemic proportions. Sri Lanka’s Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said that the government has taken several measures against the spread of the disease by providing adequate facilities and medicines in public hospitals. The Sri Lankan government has also taken several steps to reduce breeding grounds for mosquitoes; it has passed strong laws that resulted in the arrest of 53 people a few weeks ago for keeping unhygienic surroundings. “Most of the arrested people have to appear in court and pay a fine. This is done mostly to impress upon the people on the need to maintain clean surroundings so that the spread of dengue can be minimized,” police spokesman Ajith Rohana said, adding that they have already inspected thousands of houses in the capital Colombo, which has the highest dengue infection cases of 3,333. The government has also deployed around 10,000 army and police personnel to assist Public Health Inspectors (PHI) to keep urbanized areas clean.