The Delhi High Court on Monday launched a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) over the threat of mosquitoes in the nation’s capital, said if not contained, vector-borne diseases would add to the existing problems and complexities of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The sightings came even as the nation’s three civic bodies prepare to conduct mega-readers this week to ensure vector control – nearly 1,700 municipal employees from the northern and eastern corporations will be engaged in the exercises. anti-larva misting and spraying, while South Corporation will launch a separate campaign in its region.
However, a bench of judges Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh noted that due to the current pandemic, measures to control the threat of mosquitoes have been relegated to the background.
âWe are inclined to take suo motu aware of the mosquito infestation that has taken place in Delhi. Due to the current pandemic, measures to contain this infestation have taken a back seat. Every year, during and after the monsoon, the city sees vector-borne diseases such as dengue and chikungunya, and if this is not contained, with the growing Covid pandemic, the rise of these diseases would lead to and worsen the disease. problem and complexities. (of Covid), âsaid the bench.
He sent notifications to the Delhi government, the three municipal corporations, the New Delhi City Council (NDMC) and the Delhi Cantonment Board (DCB) to find out what steps they had taken or were planning to take to contain the mosquito infestation. A
Asking civic authorities to “pull up their socks,” the court said: “The mosquito situation is very bad … With the onset of the monsoon, and looking at the pandemic, we are going to land in major problems.”
“If people contract dengue or something like that and they have to be hospitalized during the time of Covid, that will very seriously multiply the problem,” he added, while asking the authorities to file their answers. by Thursday.
Meanwhile, the northern civic body has also identified more than 170 sites, subject to water accumulation and suitable for mosquito breeding.
âWe have identified more than 170 sites suitable for mosquito breeding. Intensive fumigation and anti-larvae drug sprays will be carried out at these and other locations as well. Our Domestic Breeding Supervisors (DBC) are already inspecting households for mosquito breeding. We will ensure that vector-borne diseases do not reach the capital this year, âsaid Jai Prakash, mayor of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation.
He said he had also written to the Public Works Department (PWD) and other road-owning agencies to keep their drains and roads clean to ensure that no congestion occurs during the monsoon.
According to data provided by civic bodies, 25 cases of dengue have been reported through May 22 this year while only 18 cases were reported during the same period in 2020. Likewise, the capital has only reported as four cases of chikungunya through May 22, 2021, while 10 cases of chikungunya were reported during the same period last year. Until May 22, 2021, Delhi has reported eight cases of malaria up from 18 during the same period last year. The total number of dengue cases in 2020 was 1,072 compared to 2,036 in 2019. No figures are available for the current year.
The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) said it was already carrying out fumigation drills and imposed more than 1,800 fines on owners of properties where mosquitoes were breeding.
A senior SDMC official said, on condition of anonymity: âThe department has sent nearly five lakh outreach text messages. We called on people to control mosquito breeding in and around their homes by cleaning their water fountains every week. The civic organization has also issued nearly 1,800 legal opinions and fines against households and business units for breeding mosquitoes on their premises. ”
Nirmal Jain, Mayor, East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC). said the civic body would soon start spraying anti-larvae drugs in places where water usually collects. âWe are making efforts to control mosquito reproduction. Our staff are also engaged in the work of Covid, so from this week will start dedicated campaigns to control mosquito breeding, âhe said.