The city reported one more dengue death and 75 new cases on Monday, taking the total number of patients to 1,370.
While the situation vis-a-vis dengue is becoming alarming, more than half of the mosquito breeding checkers of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) went on strike, demanding regularisation of jobs.
Four persons have died of dengue this year.
The MCD again warned the domestic breeding checkers (DBCs) that those not returning to work may face termination of services.
However, officials admit that this action may also lead to a temporary manpower crunch, as appointment of new DBCs may take atleast a week.
"We can terminate the services of DBCs as they are contract workers. We are appealing to them not to stop work at a time when the city is facing a dengue outbreak. We can easily appoint new DBCs, as we have a long waiting list of applicants," said Subhash Arya, Leader of MCD House.
According to the Chairman of MCD’s Public Health Committee, V K Monga, more than 50 per cent of the 3,200 DBCs have struck work.
"We have decided to give them one more chance and will wait another day to allow them to return to work before taking a decision on terminating their services," he said.
Meanwhile, the city reported its fourth dengue death on Monday and another 75 patients tested positive for the disease.
"Rakesh, a 25-year-old patient, died at the Safdarjung Hospital. He was residing near IGI airport," Monga said.
The DBCs, who undertake door-to-door surveys to check mosquito breeding, have been demanding regularisation of jobs for long.
In 2008 too, they had observed a 47-day strike stressing the same demand.
The MCD, however, says it does not have the required funds at present to regularise the DBCs.
Meanwhile, anti-Malaria Karamchari Sangh president Ashok Chaudhary said the DBCs will continue their strike and pointed out that several court rulings have been in favour of regularisation.
He added that if their demands were not met, they will approach the Delhi Lt-Governor.
The issue of the rising number of dengue cases was discussed at a meeting of the MCD, where members cutting across party lines expressed concern over the issue.
Arya accused the Delhi government of granting insufficient funds for public health and said this was causing problems for the MCD.
Former Mayor and Congress councillor Farhad Suri dismissed the accusation and said the MCD diverted some money sanctioned by the government under sanitation head for the purpose of purchasing biometric system.
Leader of Opposition J K Sharma alleged that officials were giving out ‘false’ reports about dengue cases.
Suri also raised concern over waterlogging at the Barapullah nullah due to work on the elevated road there.