MCD withholds dengue report for nine months

- May 11, 2024
| By : Kushan Niyogi |

The practice of issuing weekly data has been discontinued by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi since August last year; opposition BJP says AAP hiding dengue numbers due to upcoming elections

MCD withholds dengue report for nine months

For the past nine months, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi has refrained from releasing the weekly dengue report for the national capital. This withholding comes despite the city reporting a high number of dengue cases this year, and the month of April witnessing a big surge as compared to last year. 

It should be noted that the Capital recorded over 12,000 cases in 2015, including 40 deaths.

The regular release of weekly data detailing the number of dengue cases, fatalities, and the status of other vector-borne diseases has been a longstanding practice. However, this tradition has been interrupted, raising concerns about transparency and public awareness of the prevalence of the disease.

A senior official in the health department, on the condition of anonymity said, “The weekly data of the dengue cases has been withheld by the municipal corporation following direct orders from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in view of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. They are scared that the opposition parties can encash the opportunity and affect their vote count.”

Also read: Sting operation: Capital deals with mosquito menace as dengue cases surge

Praveen Shankar Kapoor, spokesperson of Delhi BJP, said, “AAP is trying to end transparency in the municipal corporation. In the city where more than 12,000 cases along with 40 deaths were reported in 2015, the AAP government is trying to hide the cases of the vector-borne disease from the people of Delhi.” 

“AAP is hiding the data so that the opposition party cannot ask questions about the rising cases of vector-borne diseases in the national capital. They want to suppress the voice of the Delhiites by stopping the decades-long exercise in the corporation. They think the data will reveal the spike in the dengue cases which will affect their vote share in the Lok Sabha elections,” Kapoor said. 

However, in a bid to tackle the escalating mosquito menace, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has served legal notices to 15,000 breeding sites. This proactive measure comes in response to reports of mosquito breeding in approximately 38,500 households across the national capital until April this year, as disclosed by the civic body.

The corporation last issued the dengue weekly report on August 7, 2023, revealing a sudden spike in cases. The report indicated a total of 348 dengue cases in the city, marking a significant increase compared to the same period in 2021 when only 174 cases were reported.

In September 2023, MCD officials stated that they were not releasing the reports after August owing to the G20 Summit which was being held in the country.

Responding to allegations by BJP, Mukesh Goel, Leader of the House, MCD, calling these “bogus claims”. “The corporation has not been compiling the weekly dengue report. However, the civic body reassures that it will disclose the data promptly once it is shared by the hospitals,” he claimed.

“The opposition party is making the dengue reports an issue at a time when the Capital is all set to vote in a few days. People of Delhi can understand why this issue is being raised by the BJP now,” Goel further added