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Dengue: MCD jittery

Civic agency to use special repellent paint to combat disease after 24 countries issue advisories about travelling to Delhi

delhi Updated: Sep 03, 2010 00:22 IST

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi is in a spot over the travel advisories issued by 24 countries, including the US, inquiring into the status of dengue outbreak in the city, ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

The US sends such warnings for nearly all major international events. It did so even for the cricket World Cup, though almost no Americans are expected for the event. To combat dengue, the civic agency, for the first time, has decided to use a special colourless paint (synthetic Pyrethroid) at all sports and training venues of the Games.

Pyrethorid has insect repellent properties and is generally harmless to human beings. The paint will safeguard people against mosquito and insect bites for a period of 12 weeks.

Many countries such as Turkey, Sri Lanka, South Africa, and Mexico have been using this chemical to combat malaria and dengue. A team of 100 MCD staffers are currently undergoing training at the National Centre for Communicable Diseases (NCDC).

With 67 new cases reported on Thursday, the total number of cases has reached 1081, with three deaths reported so far. Work started on Thursday at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, where the opening and closing ceremonies of Games will be held. On a trial basis, walls of structures at the Games Village, near Akshardham Temple, which will be used as the residential and training venue by delegates and athletes during the sports extravaganza, were sprayed with the chemical and showed good results.

“We want to reassure people that we are taking every possible measure to combat dengue. Work has already started and we will cover all the venues within two weeks,” said V K Monga, chairman of Public Health Committee of the MCD. The chemical is being procured from a Mumbai based private company.

But with Games just round the corner the civic agency is claiming that the company is charging more than double the usual amount. “The cost of the chemical is Rs 500 per litre but the company is charging us up to Rs 1,300. We have no option but to go for it,” he added.