October 14, 2021 7:28:36 pm
The sizeable uptick in the number of dengue cases in Panchkula — more than 200 cases have tested positive so far — has seen the district surpass the record for the most number of cases for the vector-borne disease since the 2017 dengue crisis.
As per district medical health records, a total of 193 had contracted dengue in 2017 till October, with the number starting to go down after. This year, the number of dengue cases has already breached the 200 mark and stood at 229 cases as of Wednesday.
Officials from the district authority continued to claim that they were indulging in rigorous source reduction as well as fogging activities in view of rising cases. However, residents claimed that not enough was being done on the ground. Members of the Citizen Welfare Associations have alleged that the work to check the spread started too little, too late. CWA President, SK Naiyyar, said, “The fogging work was started but inadequate medicines and material rendered it ineffective, especially in Sectors 19, 20, 15. However, after necessary persuasion of the authorities, the work resumed but was again not carried out properly. In sector 15, fogging was started on Tuesday, during late night-hours around 9:30.”
He further added, “The fogging machine cut through the sector in a hurried manner which is ineffective. The entire benefit has gone to waste as smoke was insufficient to enter the houses and to protect the residents from mosquitoes. Moreover, the vehicle used for fogging broke down in between. Fogging later was resumed only after arranging the required material. Only 10-15 per cent fogging was done and that too on persuasion by RWAs.”
The members of CWA have urged DC Vinay Pratap Singh, CMO Dr Mukta Kumar, and Executive Officer of the Municipal Corporation Kuldip Malik, “to impress upon the field staff to work properly.” They said that it was okay if lesser work was done but proper utilization of material and labour should be ensured for the benefits and convenience of the residents of Panchkula and their protection from dengue fever.
The health authorities, meanwhile, claimed that they will continue regular and rigorous source reduction activities as well as stick to their fogging schedule. CMO Dr Mukta Kumar, speaking with The Indian Express, said, “We have a dedicated IDSP which was being used for Covid vaccination earlier. It has now been diverted for combatting dengue. The high number of cases is due to the extended rainy season we have witnessed this year. It is the middle of October and the weather is yet to get colder. This has provided the dengue larvae an extended period to grow.”
Panchkula in the first 10 days of October had reported more than 100 dengue cases. As per figures shared by the health department, while only five cases of dengue were reported from January to August this year, the number had started to shoot up in the last week of August and had risen to around 50 cases by August 25. This number stood at 181 cases on October 11.
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