Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has called a meeting next week with all civic bodies, medical superintendents of hospitals and his ministers to review the preparedness for dealing with dengue and chikungunya in the city.
The meeting, which will be held on May 13, is the first review meeting by the CM over the readiness of authorities to deal with vector-borne diseases in the national capital. Even thought the season for these diseases begins from mid-July and generally lasts till November-end, 86 cases of chikungunya and 32 cases of dengue have already been reported till April-end this year.
The meeting will also focus on the experience of the authorities in fighting the spread of dengue and chikungunya last year. In 2016, Delhi saw its first ever chikungunya outbreak that affected 9,661 people. In 2015, 16,000 dengue cases were reported and 60 people lost their lives to the disease.
Delhi lieutenant governor Anil Baijal has already met the health officials twice to take stock of the situation. He laid emphasis on community outreach programmes for disseminating information on prevention and control activities intensively and effectively.
“Community must be informed and educated about the schedule of visits of Domestic Breeding Checkers in their respective areas and a system of robust feedback from the community has to be developed,” he had said.
Concerned agencies were asked to identify vulnerable colonies/areas and display notice boards/billboards at the prominent places, indicating telephone number of control room for feedback from general public.
Between 2013 and 2015, the Delhi government spent Rs10.04 crores on awareness campaigns, but the advertisements were released between September and November, way past the time to prepare for the outbreak situation.
“Last year, no one was keeping a track of chikungunya. Almost 300 cases had already happened in east Delhi before we realised. This year, the MCDs will keep a track of all the cases from the beginning,” said a Delhi government official.
Government is ensuring all health facilities have sufficient stock of requisite drugs, diagnostic kits and patient beds in hospitals.
(With PTI inputs)