Breeding of mosquitoes has been reported at nearly 50,000 households in the national capital this year till July 8, according to the civic bodies, which are grappling with rising number of cases of the vector-borne diseases. In Delhi, malaria seems to be stinging the hardest, with at least 162 cases recorded while chikungunya has affected 161 people, and dengue 109. “Mosquito-breeding has been reported at 49,942 households in the city. Among the areas falling under the three municipal corporations, the cases of breeding reported were — NDMC (14,251), SDMC (27,093) and EDMC (8,598),” according to the latest municipal report. During the corresponding period last year, breeding was recorded at 37,139 households.
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.
Domestic breeding of mosquitoes is one of the main factors responsible for people contracting these vector-borne diseases. Water coolers, storage utensils, bird and dog-feeders left in the rain, are known to be typical places where aedes mosquito breeds.
“We have been appealing to people through our campaign to not allow stagnation of water in coolers or dog-feeders, which become hot breeding ground for aedes mosquitoes. Our domestic breding checkers (DBCs), who go to inspect houses, are often denied entry by people, so we are unable to check the growth of vectors inside houses,” a senior official of the SDMC today said.
The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) tabulates the data on vector-borne diseases in the city, on behalf of all civic bodies here.
52,253 legal notices have been issued to various people and establishments after mosquitogenic conditions were found in their houses or premises. At least 4,892 prosecutions have also been launched after breeding were found, the report said.
All three municipal corporations have stepped up awareness drive, including through distribution of pamphlets and plying of vehicles carrying loudspeakers, issuing dos and don’ts on prevention of vector-borne diseases.
Besides, 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.
The Delhi government too has put up huge outdoor advertisements at various places in the city and planned to raise awareness through songs and street plays too.
The city 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.
It 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.
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.
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.