Four deaths in five days, more than 450 positive cases and 11 overall deaths, besides, 10 fresh cases every day — these statistics are strong enough to conclude that dengue has hit Bhopal hard, leaving the health department officials helpless.
While people are blaming health department for not taking proper steps on time to control the dengue larvae from growing, the health department officials allege that people did not follow the preventive measures despite repeated instructions.
After the surge in dengue cases, the health department employees along with Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) team began conducting door-to-door surveys.
According to the members of the team they clean the tanks and water containers of houses only once and demonstrate how to curb the larvae growth. The team expects that residents will follow their instructions, however, this is not materialising.
"It is very disappointing to visit same houses and find larvae have grown in the containers we cleaned only 10 days ago. Even then people blame us for not performing our duty," said a member of survey team of health department.
On the other hand, residents have a different story to tell. Because of irregular water supply, people have to reserve water in containers for long. These containers become the breeding ground for the mosquitoes.
"Due to irregular water supply we have to buy a water tanker almost every week. The tanker costs around `250-300. To avoid water shortage, we try to store as much water as we can. However, the survey teams of the health department ask us to empty the containers. If we are supplied water on daily basis, we won’t need to reserve the water in the containers," said Sharda Pant, a resident of Kolar area.
Residents of many areas complain that neither the district malaria department nor the BMC conducts fogging in their localities even once a year. Loveleen Gulati, a resident of Bawadiya Kalan, said: "News of deaths in the city due to dengue is frightening me. The malaria department didn’t conduct fogging in our locality this year. As a parent, I feel concerned about my children."
However, chief medical and health officer Bhopal Dr Pankaj Shukla said the district malaria department was facing shortage of fogging machines due to which very less localities were covered. The fogging will gain momentum from Sunday with 18 new machines provided by BMC.