Chitransh Saxena. Along with other existing health challenges, “Culex Mosquitoes have emerged as an equally important threat in Delhi with 1,023 centers holding breeding points for mosquitoes”, says an MCD report.
MCD is trying hard to prevent a worse condition in the state, amidst the growing challenges of mosquito driven health challenges, AAP leaders are blaming MCD for corruption and mismanagement.
Whereas, MCD claims that, they have already stood up for disinfecting places, taking necessary actions and are on high alert in the situation beforehand. They are organizing camps, joint programs for generating awareness among the public.
The early spike in Culex mosquitoes breeding is especially a growing concern for the Delhites, as they are already struggling to tackle the second Covid wave in Delhi.
The common symptoms of Encephalitis are body pain, fever and fatigue, muscle weakness, headache, nausea or vomiting. Infants and young children might include symptoms like bulging in the soft spots (fontanels) of an infant’s skull, nausea and vomiting, body stiffness, poor feeding or not waking for a feeding, irritability.
The potential-severity of health is many fold, as during this period of year, these mosquitoes are not the only source of encephalitis, but also other most common vector-borne diseases (like dengue malaria). So far, Delhi reported 3 cases of Malaria, 6 of Dengue, and one of Chikungunya in this quarter.
Civic bodies have made 27.9 lakh visits so far. Where, ongoing COVID-19 pandemic situation is still making it difficult to conduct mass surveys & carry out actions for vector-borne diseases control. “residents are ignoring & overlooking the waterlogging in their societies, majorly, because they considering COVID-19 challenges more life threatening”, said a local of Uttam Nagar. Another person, Dhruv Singh, a youth from Vasant Vihar spoke about the reasons for the hike in Culex mosquitoes, “Seasonal change might be the reason for spiking mosquitoes numbers in South Delhi.
Also, one major issue is the water vessels kept for animals and birds outside the homes which are often left unchanged. Mosquitoes, air-borne diseases and poor municipal-hygiene are now growing problem in Delhi, if we talk specifically of South Delhi there is garbage on roads that is also seen as a big concern that might allow mosquito-breeding as it holds water on the surface.”
Abrupt rising of temperatures in the morning has resulted in a spike of Culex mosquitoes breeding in New Delhi and areas around floodplains. This time, East and South Delhi MCD is proactively taking care of areas, where majority cases were reported last year.
Despite the diversion of manpower and funds to COVID-19 treatment by the State, MCD putting forward efforts to prevent breeding in Delhi, told a Municipal official.
During an interview to India Speaks Daily, Dr. Virender Kumar (health official from West Delhi MCD), informed & updated us about various preventive steps being taken along with conducting several health-awareness camps. He highlighted the preventive steps that are being in areas where a high amount of cases of encephalitis and mosquito breeding came up last year.
He further reiterated that the MCD is alert and is organizing joint programs for public awareness. When asked about what disinfecting steps are being taken by MCD, he replied, “MCD is taking proper steps and insecticides like Larvicide, Dichlobenzerone, BTI are being sprayed.”
As per data from the Corporation, Delhi has reported 1,023 cases of mosquito breeding in homes till 23rd March 2021 which is three times the cases reported last year- around 389. South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has detected 588 cases, North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) has reported 185 cases, and 250 cases in East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) zone this year.
The spiking in the number of mosquito breeding is possibly due to very high priority given to the life threatening COVID-19 pandemic and where vaccination drive is currently the major focus, along with allocation of manpower. Restricted fogging due to COVID in Delhi, the early and abrupt increase in temperament in Delhi, waterlogging at several areas after the festive season.
5 years’ consolidated data on mosquito breeding shows that the weekly count peaks between the 32nd and 38th week of the year. SDMC analysis shows that 38% of breeding sites are peri-domestic containers like pots, vases, home fountains, etc., 33% domestic water storage containers employed in water storage containers for money remaining 29% in desert coolers and overhead tanks.
It is interesting to notice that while Delhi citizens are about to face newer health threats, local politics is ready to take front seat, where, AAP-led Delhi government started blaming BJP-led Municipal Corporation for mismanagement and corruption. That too, without releasing the pending salaries/funds. Leaving MCD dry-on-funds and managing on-pennies in the name of funds. It is also perceived that the Delhi Government’s own departments like, Flood and Irrigation Department and PWD, aren’t doing enough in cleaning the drains in their jurisdictions.
Experts from New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) have highlighted again that “the mosquitoes prefer an environment above 30° Celsius. When the outdoor temperature starts to fall, they try to get inside houses in the evenings.” Adding to this, he suggested residents to keep doors and windows closed during the evenings so that they don’t find warmer places for breeding inside homes. People should also check for potential indoor breeding sites periodically.
Let’s see how this upcoming recurrent & cyclic-annual menace will be tackled by Delhi, this time. Hope that different governing bodies of Delhi and public will work in tandem and to nip the associated air borne diseases in the bud.