Following instructions of the chief minister, Mamata Banerjee, to all municipal bodies, towards devoting more effort to combating vector borne diseases, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) is adding more teeth to its anti-dengue campaigns to curb the outbreak of the disease in the city that has already claimed the lives of around four minors. Vector-borne diseases, especially dengue, have affected more than 1000 citizens in the city, at present, as per KMC records.

The chief minister, Miss Banerjee, has instructed all the civic bodies to put their best foot forward in curbing the outbreak in the state. Though the KMC had begun their awareness campaigns early this year, from January, dengue has managed to claim the lives of at least five persons within the areas under the KMC; four were minors whose death certificates cited dengue shock syndrome as the cause. The civic body had earlier claimed that among all the boroughs under the KMC, Borough-X is the most vulnerable to the disease.

Officials though, clarified that the count of the affected people within the area under the KMC this year, is comparatively less than in the previous year. The monsoon, meanwhile, has been a major factor for the spurt in number of dengue patients, as pointed out by a civic body official. Collected rainwater has proved to be fertile breeding grounds for the mosquitoes. Despite recent forecast by the weather department that monsoon is receding, KMC is not taking any chances and is not relaxing its anti-dengue drives.

The civic body has been constantly making announcements in every ward, asking residents to follow the dengue guidelines issued to them by the KMC. The guidelines concerned highlight the basic need to keep one’s surroundings clean while ensuring that water is not kept stored in open containers. Councillors of every 144 ward have been roped in and asked to carry out anti-dengue drives in their respective wards. The mayor, Firhad Hakim, and deputy mayor and MMIC health, Atin Ghosh, have been going on constant inspection rounds.

Meanwhile, proactive steps are also being taken by the civic body which include accessing locked and abandoned properties with the help of local police for carrying out cleaning drives. It is learnt that KMC is also to operate drones soon for surveillance of building rooftops where open tanks have been a major reason for the spread of dengue.