Gujarat govt mulls drones to stop malaria but announces no drive against Zika
Three people, including a pregnant woman, were found infected with mosquito-borne Zika virus in Ahmedabad. The state government said there is no reason to panic.india Updated: Jul 10, 2017 07:19 IST
Three cases of the Zika virus reported in Ahmedabad have not provoked the municipal corporation or the Gujarat government to announce a campaign against the disease. But a drive to check mosquito breeding is already under way to combat malaria.
After the World Health Organisation (WHO) confirmed on Friday the three Zika cases —India’s first — the state government maintained that they were isolated and said there is no reason to panic.
According to the WHO, the earliest infection was detected in February 2016 and the most recent one was found this January. No cure is available for Zika.
Just a couple of days before the WHO’s announcement, at an anti-malaria meeting, state health minister Shankar Chaudhary said that “the mosquito is a terrorist” and suggested drones could be used to locate breeding grounds in “terraces and backyards”.
Under its campaign to rid Ahmedabad of malaria, local health authorities say they are checking over 15 lakh places across the city for breeding sites.
“The Malaria Free Ahmedabad campaign aims at eradicating mosquitoes, so it would address the concern related to Zika virus as well,” said Ahmedabad mayor Gautam Shah. “No special drive is required.”