The BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Monday deployed a drone to sanitise the city’s Dhobi Ghat locality to curb the spread of monsoon-related diseases like malaria and dengue, officials said.
The sanitation drive came after the city reported a huge spurt in dengue cases, up from just 10 in August last year to 130-plus in the same month this year, mostly from the BMC B, F/South and H/West wards.
Similarly, the country’s commercial capital has witnessed around 3,000 cases of malaria, over 275 of gastroenteritis, more than 35 cases each of leptospirosis and hepatitis and over a dozen cases of H1N1, but no fatalities.
Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar, who was present on the occasion along with Executive Health Officer Dr Mangala Gomare, said that massive awareness drives are being taken up all over the city on the monsoon-related diseases and how to prevent them.
Besides the daily surveillance measures, the BMC focuses on early detection, diagnosis and treatment, and all hospitals or health centres have of been directed to increase the number of blood smear examinations, and also add Covid tests to rule out the possibility of Covid-19 infection.
The 10 square km area congested areas of Worli, Mahalaxmi, Lower Parel, N.M. Joshi Marg and surroundings have notched a significantly high incidence of vector-borne diseases this year as compared to the previous year.
Last week, Tourism Minister Aditya Thackeray said that in 2020 and this year, drones have been used to carry out anti-larval spray to old, dilapidated or inaccessible structure, especially in G/South Ward where the numbers of dengue/malaria cases are higher.
On Sunday, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had called upon the medical community to also concentrate on the monsoon-related diseases alongside Covid-19.
BMC officials said the Mayor was given a detailed presentation on the drone operations, checking for accumulated water, fumigation and sanitisation of a targeted area to make it malaria-free, and that similar operations would be carried out elsewhere in the city where cases are found.