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No rain, but malaria is here

Monsoon is yet to arrive, but civic hospitals in the city are already flooded with malaria patients with more than 30 cases being reported every day.

mumbai Updated: May 24, 2011 01:52 IST
Bhavika Jain

Monsoon is yet to arrive, but civic hospitals in the city are already flooded with malaria patients with more than 30 cases being reported every day.

According to statistics, civic hospitals saw as many as 865 cases between May 1 and May 18.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) data shows that 14,357 malaria cases were reported from January to April this year. The vector-borne disease has already claimed 11 lives so far.

Maximum cases were from the central Mumbai region of Parel, Lalbaug, Elphinstone Road (G-South ward), and Byculla.

In 2010, 12,000 cases of malaria were recorded between January and April. In all, 76,755 patients contracted malaria last year, of which 145 people fell victim to the disease. In 2009, the figure stood at 44,035 cases with 198 fatalities.

The issue was discussed in the civic standing committee on Monday. Corporators demanded to know what precautionary measures the administration was taking to combat the onslaught of infectious diseases.

Rajul Patel, health committee chairman, said the figures clearly showed a steady rise in the disease and that the civic body needed to be more vigilant. Patel said maximum cases were from construction sites despite the BMC asking developer to conduct fogging to stop breeding of mosquitoes.

BJP corporator Ashish Shelar said “The figures clearly show that the steps being taken are not sufficient and something more needs to be done [by the civic body].”

However, Manisha Mhaiskar, additional municipal commissioner, said the BMC had already taken a slew of preventive measures. Mhaiskar said the BMC had derived a standard operation procedure to tackle monsoon-related ailments.

“Apart from mosquito-proofing our own properties, we have asked other government agencies to do the same. We are going to check the compliance on June 1 and if found to be poor then action will be initiated,” she said.

Congress corporator Sameer Desai said, “BMC should undertake an awareness drive and tell the people what precautions need to be taken and what are the symptoms of malaria or other monsoon-related ailments.”