As many as 108 cases of malaria have been reported in Delhi so far — the lowest in the last three years during this time of the season. In 2018, the capital confirmed 128 cases of the vector-borne disease, while the number stood at 193 and 119 in 2017 and 2016.
As per the World Health Organisation, malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites transmitted to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. Symptoms include high fever, profuse sweating, headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea.
“Better vector-control measures to stop breeding are being taken by authorities and people have also become aware. Regular awareness campaigns on social media also helped in pushing out malaria cases. Earlier, many were unaware of the disease’s carrier. Now, they are getting their houses sprayed,” said Dr Anup Anvikar, scientist at ICMR-National Institute of Malaria Research.
The report compiled by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation claimed the number of cases of dengue and chikungunya has also reduced. A total of 47 cases of dengue and 20 cases of chikungunya have been reported from the capital. Last year, the city recorded 64 positive dengue cases and 20 chikungunya cases till this time of the year.
As per the weekly report, the civic bodies have sprayed 3,82,465 houses across the city. Around 65,027 houses were found to have mosquitoes and prosecution has been launched against 5,447 residents.
An analysis by the WHO, published in 2016, stated that 21 countries showed the potential to eliminate malaria by 2020. Algeria and Argentina were declared malaria-free by the WHO in 2019.
However, India was among the five that accounted for nearly 50 per cent of all malaria cases worldwide. India is working on a programme to eliminate malaria by 2030.