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Authorities intensify efforts to control dengue

Asanna Gonmei |

The sudden spurt in dengue and chikungunya cases raised serious concern among authorities even as BJPruled civic bodies today pressed in more field workers for the prevention of the vector-borne diseases. 

Authorities of the Delhi government as well as civic bodies, however, appealed to people not to panic recommending measures to prevent mosquito-breeding.

According to sources, chikanguniya is on spurt as compared to dengue this year in the capital. 

However, people are urged to remain calm as chikangunia is debilitating but not life-threatening. Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain had recently said in the Assembly that all the three municipal corporations have "primary responsibility" to take preventive measures to control these diseases while the city government has "curative responsibility". 

At AIIMS laboratories which get blood samples from Delhi and other parts of the country, 362 samples have tested positive for chikungunya from July to August 20. On the other hand, at least 311 cases of dengue have been reported in the national capital till August 20 and the deadly disease has claimed four lives this season. 

Several AAP legislators in the Assembly on Tuesday had accused the three BJP-controlled civic bodies of making the city’s sanitation facilities a "mess" which they claimed was the major factor behind the spike in cases of vector-borne diseases. 

The municipal corporations, however, have claimed that only 20 cases of chikungunya have been reported till August 20. North Delhi Mayor Sanjeev Nayyar said the scare of dengue is not as much as it was last year but NDMC is taking all preventive measures. 

"We have already distributed 1.2 lakh impregnated mosquito nets (laced with special chemical) to people. Our DBCs (dengue breeding checkers) are regularly inspecting households and other places for checking mosquito-breeding," he said. 

East Delhi Standing Committee Chairman Jitender Chaudhary said a proposal has been mooted to include ‘nala beldars’, workers who clean small nullahs before monsoon, in the DBC team, to address the shortage of manpower in this area. 

Chikungunya is not a notifiable disease, which means, its cases may not be reported to the government. And health experts say, that it could be one of the reasons why there is a discrepancy in the cases reported at hospitals and those by the municipal corporations. 

"We have 710 DBCs and they conduct inspections regularly of coolers and rooftop water tanks in households. For chikungunya and dengue, we are doing regular awareness programmes, especially in schools, and move is to include private, aided schools in the list. Besides, we are planning to hold discussions with RWAs and marketing associations about this," he said. 

Out of the total dengue cases reported this season in the national capital, nearly 192 were recorded in the first three weeks of August.