Dhaka Courier

Even as Coronavirus diverts minds, dengue menace lurks

img

Although Dhaka city dwellers have been complaining that they are suffering a lot due to increase of culex mosquitoes, the authorities concerned of both the Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) claimed that their employees are working up to the maximum of their abilities to kill adult mosquitoes.

City-dwellers alleged that mosquitoes both at night and day are now getting intolerable. Anti-mosquito drives by both city corporations have become very slow after the last city corporation elections in February 1 this year, they said.

Md Nizam Uddin,40, a shop owner living at Adarshanagar of Mirpur-11, said despite shutting all the windows and doors he can’t stay at home as the number of mosquitoes is too high. “We have to use two mosquito coils in the evening every day. We have to use mosquito coil at noon too,” he said.

Replying to a question, he said employees of the DNCC were seen very active before the last election. “I did not see anyone spray anti-mosquito medicine for last two weeks,” he said.

He feared proliferation of Aedes mosquitoes, the carriers of dengue, this year again like last year if the corporation does not take initiatives immediately.

Mostak Ahmed, a resident of Middle Basabo under the DSCC, said mosquito infestation has increased greatly compared to several weeks ago. We are staying inside our flat all day and night closing doors and windows using anti-mosquito spray.

Replying to a question, he also said that he has not seen any employee of the corporation spraying anti-mosquito aerosol for last one month in their locality.

He also said, " I am fearing the outbreak of dengue may hit again this year which will be very much unfortunate for the city dwellers alongside possible outbreak of coronavirus."

Contacted, Dr Manzur Chowdhury, an entomologist and former president of Geological Society of Bangladesh, said dirty water is stranded on the city drains as most of them are uncovered. Drains and canals, which are organically polluted, are great breeding grounds for culex mosquitoes. As those are not cleaned properly, intensity of culex mosquito is very high. "Breeding of culex mosquito is very high in those areas--drain and stranded canals where organic pollution is high," he said.

Replying to a question, the entomologist said around 300 dengue cases were identified in January to March this, while the figure was only 73 last year. It indicates that the outbreak of dengue may hit again this year, he said.

So the authorities have to take immediate initiative to destroy breeding ground of aedes mosquito. Otherwise it would become intolerable, Dr Manzur said.

DSCC Chief Health Officer Brigadier General Dr Sharif Ahmed said though employees of the corporation fearful of possible infection of coronavirus, they are spraying disinfectant water on the streets to prevent coronavirus outbreak alongside insecticide on culex and Aedes mosquito breeding grounds giving maximum effort.

“We already identified hotspots of Aedes mosquitoes breeding grounds in February and in the meantime we have completed two crash programmes to destroy the sources of Aedes mosquito. We also declared wards no 5,6,11, 17,37 and 42 as vulnerable ones,” he added.

We are trying to give relief to our city dwellers from both outbreak of culex and dengue working with maximum ability, he said.

Contacted, DNCC Panel Mayor Md Zamal Mostafa denied the allegation of slow work for spraying adulticide and larvicide to destroy both Aedes and culex mosquitoes.

“We are fighting against Aedes and Culex mosquitoes. In the meantime, coronavirus has appeared as a curse. So we are continuing to spray adulticide and larvicide on the breeding grounds alongside anti-infect water on the city streets,” he said.

Replying to a question, the DNCC Panel Mayor said they have sufficient stocks of adulticide, larvicide, Malaria B oil and other pesticides to destroy mosquitoes and their breeding grounds.

“We have previous experience to fight against Aedes mosquitoes and we have already started our work accordingly to prevent outbreak of dengue this year,” he added.

Meanwhile, no new dengue case was reported in the last 24 hours until 8am on Tuesday, said the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).

Since the beginning of this year, 271 dengue cases were reported. Of them, 269 have been discharged from hospitals.

Bangladesh experienced a massive dengue outbreak last year when 101,354 people were hospitalised across the country. Of them,101,037 made full recovery.

According to official figures, the mosquito-borne disease killed 179 people in 2019, though unofficially the death toll is said to have exceeded 200.

  • Even as Coronavirus diverts minds, dengue menace lurks
  • Vol 36
  • Issue 39
  • DhakaCourier

Leave a Comment