The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has begun its mosquito surveillance programme to prepare for the monsoon season when the disease-causing insects are most active in the city.
Collection of samples began last month after the MCD held a meeting with members of the state government, central government, public works department, New Delhi Municipal Council, and officials from the neighbouring states on March 16.
The authorities are focussing on areas with large collection of stagnant water, especially Inderpuri, Raghubir Nagar, Najafgarh and Shahdara, where open drains are commonly found.
Delhi has about 1,500 large and small drains where a large number of mosquitoes are regularly seen. Aedes and Culex mosquitoes that cause dengue and Japanese encephalitis respectively breed in such areas.
Twelve positive cases of Japanese Encephalitis were reported from Delhi last year and the MCD is not taking any chances this year.
“These mosquitoes usually breed in and around open drains. We will start by covering drains and pumping bio-larvicide in them. Fogging usually starts fully around June to July when dengue and malaria causing mosquitoes, Aedes and Anopheles, also start breeding in large numbers,” said a official in the department of health.
National Vector-Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), the central nodal agency for prevention and control of vector-borne diseases (that are transmitted to humans by an insect or other arthropod), carries out independent cross-checking of the breeding as a routine procedure every year. “It is a collective effort and part of our routine mosquito surveillance programme,” said an NVBDCP official.
Authorities have advised people to take preventive measures to avoid falling prey to these mosquitoes. “One should not allow water to collect in and around the premises. The doors and windows should be kept shut during early morning and evening time when the mosquitoes are most active,” said Yadav.