Cases of vector-borne diseases shoot up
As per data released by the municipal corporations on Monday, the number of malaria cases in the national Capital has shot up to an alarming 125, of which 41 cases were detected in the last month. Of these 125 people, 63 belonged to Delhi while the remaining 62 cases diagnosed in Delhi were traced to other States.
The data also showed that apart from the escalating malaria threat in Delhi, dengue cases have also been on an upswing, reaching close to 100. Of these, 55 cases were detected in Delhi and the other were 44 reported from other states.
Meanwhile, the number of chikungunya cases recorded stood at 153. Of these, 108 were reported in Delhi and 45 were detected from other states. Out of the 153 cases, 12 were recorded in June, even as authorities are taking a number of initiatives to combat its possible outbreak.
All three civic bodies have stepped up awareness drives, including distribution of pamphlets and plying of vehicles carrying loudspeakers, issuing out dos and don'ts on prevention of vector-borne diseases.
South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has launched a pilot project wherein about 200 dengue breeding checkers in select vulnerable regions have been armed with tablets to record data during inspection of households and feed it to central control room in real time.
The Delhi government had, on June 23, issued instructions to state-run and private hospitals and nursing homes to increase their bed capacity by up to 20 per cent for the next six months to deal with the possible outbreak of dengue and chikungunya.
The government also banned over-the-counter sale of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Aspirin and Brufen, as their use may "pose a threat" to dengue and chikungunya patients.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had last month directed authorities to make a comprehensive plan in the matter, while the civic bodies are keeping a tab on mosquito-breeding, in and out of homes, through regular monitoring.
Though the season of vector-borne diseases had ended in December, the city continues to report such cases, prompting authorities to prepare a roadmap for the combat plan.
Six cases of dengue were reported in January, four in February, 11 in March and as many in April. As many as 4,431 cases of dengue were reported till the end of 2016.
On May 13, Kejriwal had chaired a high-level meeting of officers from the three municipal corporations and the Delhi government to discuss plans to eliminate vector-borne diseases in the national Capital.
He had also written to Union Health Minister J P Nadda, requesting him to reserve 10 per cent of the beds in the central government-run hospitals for treatment of dengue and chikungunya patients. Till January 14, only two cases of chikungunya had been reported, while no dengue case had been diagnosed till then.
Last year, at least 15 fatalities were reported in various hospitals in Delhi due to complications triggered by chikungunya; however, the civic bodies kept the death tally at zero.
At least 21 deaths were reported due to dengue last year at various hospitals, including nine at AIIMS, though the official tally of SDMC stood at 10.
17 deaths in 2016 were suspected due to malaria, which were also reported by civic bodies.
In one of the worst outbreaks, a total of 12,221 chikungunya cases were reported in Delhi till December 24, last year, out of which 9,749 were confirmed.
The season for vector-borne diseases begins from mid-July and usually lasts till November-end.