As the weather remained dry with occasional spells of rain and intermittent heat waves swept the district, only four cases of malaria were reported in Panchkula till June, the lowest in four years.
According to the data available with the district health department, as many as 68 cases of malaria were reported till June in 2013, which was the highest. The number of cases came down to 48 in 2014 and 22 in 2015.
Though the maximum malaria cases are reported in June-July, officials said they generally receive at least 20 cases in May on an average. The health officials attribute the lowest number of cases to awareness and the prevalent heat waves in the district in May.
“The mosquito population plummets during the heat waves, as it reduces the humidity level in the atmosphere. This year, the rainfall was less and the prevalence of heat wave was more,” said district malaria inspector Jasbir Singh.
He said the department carried out awareness activities in sensitive areas. “We identified areas from where the maximum number of cases have been reported in the last few years and visited them. Apart from increased awareness, we also started observing Sundays as drying days, when activities are organised to encourage people to drain out stored water, which act as breeding ground for mosquitoes,” he said.
Among the sensitive areas are Old Panchkula, residential units near Ghaggar belt and Kaushalya dam, Ramgarh, Nadda village and Maddanwala village in Pinjore.
Most of these areas are occupied by slumdwellers and there is no regular supply of water and residents end up storing water for several days encouraging mosquito breeding.