With 283 cases in the last week alone, the rise in dengue cases in the capital is a culmination of multiple factors ranging from water logging from monsoons showers to higher rate of testing
The Capital city is witnessing a rise in dengue cases, with the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) registering the highest with a total of 300 cases until October 23.
In the last week alone SDMC has seen the highest number of cases reported from the corporation’s, with 98 registered, followed by North DMC with 71 cases and East DMC with 39 this week. In total the North municipality has witnessed 237 cases and EDMC 122.
Delhi has not seen such a huge number of dengue cases since 2018 when the total number of cases year until October 23 were 1,310 which the following year in 2019 was 833. In 2020 – the year that Covid took hold – vector borne diseases were lower, with dengue cases reported at 489. This year though 1,006 have been reported till now.
Interestingly, when enquired about the spectre of vector borne diseases, an SDMC official told Patriot that the numbers are not higher than last year. The reason for the spike in numbers, he says, is because people are being tested for it, which was not happening when the pandemic was wreaking havoc last year.
Now, with Covid numbers low, the authorities focus has turned to the recurring menace of mosquito fuelled disease and its unabated breeding. The AAP-led Delhi government is reacting by launching a “mega fogging drive” on October 27. Saurabh Bharadwaj, an MLA from AAP and their spokesperson said, “We have decided to take charge of public health. Starting tomorrow, October 27, we will commence a Mega Fogging drive to cover every nook and corner of Delhi. Checks for breeding spaces, and other required measures will be carried out by our party workers”.
With a total of 283 cases in the last week alone, according to data from the Delhi municipal corporations and other agencies including New Delhi Municipal Corporation and Dhaula Kuan, the fight has to be multi-pronged.
An official with the National Vector Borne Disease Programme (NVBDP) had told us that last year in the early part of the monsoon season the cases were low. However, the reason behind the lower number of cases of vector-borne diseases may have been due to the lockdown aided by several migrants moving away from the congested urban areas and slums.
Now that the city is back to normal activity and a monsoon which has been 80% more than normal has brought back the fury of vector borne diseases. Water logging in areas such as Madanpur Khadar, Gautam Puri and Yamuna Khader could also be the reason. Incessant rains that began in August of this year was a prime indicator of how things would pan out for the economically weaker areas.
But there’s a lot of area to cover.
Up until now, according to data provided by the SDMC, it has sprayed over 12 lakh homes or 12,34,872 to be precise. This is the most compared to the three MCD’s, the NDMC on their part have sprayed less than 8 lakh homes or 7,91,426 and EDMC has sprayed less than 5 lakh homes, just 4,86,278 homes and there have been 122 total cases reported of dengue here.
At the same time, even though Covid-19’s grip has loosened, it still clutches on.
On October 24 the number of positive cases in the last 24 hours were 37, with a low positivity rate of 0.06%. On October 25 the positive cases were lower at 27 but the tests conducted were also lower at just 46,667 from the previous days 60,704. But the latest number from October 26 shows 41 positive cases in the last 24 hours with 50,202 tests conducted and a positivity rate of 0.08%.
Cover: A fumigation worker fumigates inside a residential area as a precautionary measure against the spread of dengue disease as part of the fogging campaign in Shalimar Bagh PHOTO: Getty Images)