Millennium Post

Dengue terror: Govt will boost clean-up, awareness drives, says Hakim

Kolkata: State Municipal Affairs minister and Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim said on Friday that the government will further strengthen its clean-up and awareness drives with dengue cases being reported from Kolkata, Howrah and the peri-urban areas in the state.

Hakim chaired a high- level meeting at the headquarters of Kolkata Municipal

Corporation in presence of senior officials of the state Health department, where a comprehensive roadmap for combating the disease was chalked out.

"Clean-up drives will be taken up on war footing, particularly at places like bank of ponds and backsides of hospitals, where garbage accumulates and water remains stagnant. People will be made aware to ensure that water does not accumulate on roofs, flower pots or similar places that act as ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes," said Hakim.

The civic body has directed its councillors to take to the streets either on Sunday or Monday, depending upon the weather conditions and lead clean-up drives and awareness drives against dengue in their respective areas.

The Mayor has urged the state Chief Secretary to hold a meeting at his level on this issue and ask Central agencies like Railways, Kolkata Port Trust and Central Public Works Department to take up cleanliness drives in their establishments in the city.

"We are being denied access in their areas and this is affecting clean-up drives," he added.

Attributing change in weather conditions and untimely rainfall as factors behind occurrence of the disease, the Mayor said that awareness among people is the key to bringing down dengue cases.

Director of Health Services Ajay Chakraborty said that dengue is an emerging disease and mosquitoes causing the vector-borne ailment have been changing character from time to time.

"We have to go for dengue tests even at the basic symptoms of the disease as brain hemorrhage in a patient is taking place even at an early stage," Chakraborty said.

Kolkata and its adjacent peri-urban areas like Howrah, Hooghly and Nadia have been witnessing the maximum number of dengue cases since the Durga Puja. Meanwhile, North 24-Parganas has improved with the number of patients being much less now.

As per figures of the state Health department, 24,000 people have been affected by dengue, while the death toll stands at 23.

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