Amid the raging battle against Covid-19 against the backdrop of rising number of cases, the health department has finally decided to kick start the antidengue drive, with a houseto-house survey, from 6 July.

On the other hand, a dengue case was traced at Bagdogra under the Naxalbari block last month, while two other cases were detected in the Siliguri Municipal Corporation (SMC) areas early this year, it is learnt.

Though the house-tohouse Covid-19 survey is underway, the situation has delayed the routine antidengue programmes, especially similar visits as part of the authorities’ vector-control programmes. Darjeeling District Magistrate S Ponnambalam chaired a meeting of the district level monitoring team of vector-borne disease with the health department and civic body officials here today.

“The survey will begin from 6 July to maintain information on fever and other symptoms of dengue, and check stagnant water on residential premises. Health workers have been imparted training on this. A mechanism will be introduced for the first time, where there will be signatures of both the surveyor and the house owner on a register to ensure that the visit had been made. The decision has been taken following complaints that such inspections are not conducted properly. The survey will help strengthen the vector control drives,” Darjeeling district chief medical officer of health, Dr Pralay Acharya, said.

On the three dengue cases in the Siliguri Sub Division this year, Dr acharya said: “Two cases in Ward 7 and 18 were traced early this year, while a resident of Bagdogra was found carrying the dengue virus around a week ago. The case, however, was detected in Kolkata.”

According to him, there will be close monitoring of dengue-prone wards identified last year. In the meeting, civic body officials were asked to clear stagnant water caused by rainfall to prevent mosquito breeding sites.

Entomologists have warned that the prevailing weather condition was an ideal condition for breeding of the dengue virus-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquito. The municipal corporation had drawn up a round-theyear action plan to prevent vector-borne diseases early this year. The disease had claimed around six lives while more than 1300 people were tested positive for dengue in the SMC area last year.