Malaria cases continued to rise in the national capital with 125 cases reported this season while chikungunya has affected 153 people, according to a municipal report released on Monday. The number of dengue cases recorded till July 1 has touched nearly 100.
According to the report, of the total number of malaria cases, 63 of the affected people were residents of Delhi while the rest of the infection cases diagnosed here were traced to other states. Forty-one cases in the city were reported last month. Of the 153 cases of chikungunya, 12 were recorded last month, even as authorities gear up to combat its possible outbreak.
Dengue and chikungunya are caused by the bite of aedes agypti mosquito, which breeds in clear water, while anopheles mosquito, which causes malaria, can breed in both fresh and muddy water.
The SDMC has launched a pilot project whereby about 200 dengue breeding checkers (DBCs) in select vulnerable regions have been armed with tablets to record data during inspection of households and feed it to central control room in real time. All three municipal corporations have stepped up awareness drive, including through distribution of pamphlets and plying of vehicles carrying loudspeakers, issuing out dos and don’ts on prevention of vector-borne diseases.
The Delhi government had on June 23 issued instructions to state-run and private hospitals and nursing homes to increase their bed capacity by up to 20 per cent for the next six months to deal with the possible outbreak of dengue and chikungunya. The government has banned over-the-counter sale of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin and brufen as their use may “pose a threat” to dengue and chikungunya patients.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had last month directed the authorities to make a comprehensive plan in the matter, while the civic bodies are keeping a tab on mosquito-breeding, in and out of homes, through regular monitoring.
Though the season of vector-borne diseases had ended in December, the city continues to report such cases, prompting authorities to prepare a roadmap for the combat plan. Six cases of dengue were reported in January, four in February, 11 in March and as many in April. As many as 4,431 cases of dengue were reported till the end of 2016.
On May 13, Kejriwal had chaired a high-level meeting of officers from the three municipal corporations and the Delhi government to discuss plans to eliminate vector-borne diseases in the national capital. He had also written to Union Health Minister J P Nadda, requesting him to reserve 10 per cent of the beds in the central government-run hospitals for the treatment of dengue and chikungunya patients. Till January 14, only two chikungunya cases were reported, while no dengue case had been diagnosed till then.
At least 15 fatalities were reported last year at various hospitals in the city due to complications triggered by chikungunya though the civic bodies have kept the death tally at zero. At least 21 deaths due to dengue were reported last year at various hospitals, including nine at AIIMS, though the official tally of the SDMC stood at 10. Seventeen suspected deaths in 2016 due to malaria were also reported by the civic bodies.
In one of the worst outbreak, a total of 12,221 chikungunya cases were reported in Delhi till December 24, 2016, out of which 9,749 were confirmed. The season for the vector-borne diseases begins from mid-July and generally lasts till November-end.