The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) officials are to begin dengue inspection drives in the city from next week, at a time when the state health authorities are already on alert concerning the vector-borne disease, Zika virus.
The prevailing monsoon which led to waterlogging in several areas in the city has also paved the way for the fear of dengue that is spread by mosquitoes of Aedes species which also spreads the Zika virus.
The KMC board member in charge of health Atin Ghosh has confirmed that inspection drives will start from next week where vector control teams will visit and destroy mosquito larvae if found any.
This year, statistics for the first six months (January to June), showed that the total number of dengue affected is 52. In 2020, the number from January to June was about 96 cases.
Ghosh attributed the drop in dengue cases to the Covid situation during which the city is under covid restrictions which have led many to work from home. This has helped keep down the infection rates since in normal times one steps out with dengue infection and get bitten by a mosquito which again goes on to bite someone else.
He mentioned that with dengue, the problem is in the detection of symptoms since there is no particular and unique symptom from which one can deduce that he has contracted the disease.
He added that with people staying home, they are also able to clean their house premises quite often which is making it impossible for these mosquitoes to breed in water puddles, flower vases, tanks among others.
Another KMC official said that inspection will be done at the borough and ward level. The team will visit various establishments. Show-cause notices will be issued if they find overhead tanks without covers, rooftop waterlogged containers and open spaces, where rainwater can collect.
He pointed out that a total of 23 wards are in the danger zone. As per the KMC database, there are 48,142 masonry tanks, 16,014 wells, 1,246 open overhead tanks, 5,548 vacant plots, 5,539 slum clusters, 17,007 surface drains.