The district health department wants the Ghaziabad Municipal Corporation (GMC) to add a provision to its bylaws that will allow the health department to fine those who let mosquitoes breed on their premises.
Uttar Pradesh has no laws to fine people for letting mosquitoes breed on their premises. Currently, premises where mosquitoes are found breeding are cleaned and an awareness notice is sent to the owner.
The issue was discussed at a dengue work staff meeting held in Delhi on Monday.
The meeting was attended by district malaria officer Dr GK Mishra and chief medical officer Dr Ajay Aggarwal. The director and joint director of national vector borne disease programme, chief medical superintendent of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and advisor of WHO South East Asia were also present, besides health department officials of Ghaziabad, Gurgaon, Noida and Faridabad.
Mishra said apart from residents, the three main authorities in Ghaziabad--GMC, Ghaziabad Development Authority and the Uttar Pradesh Housing Development Board --also need to be held responsible if mosquito breeding is found on their office premises or construction sites.
“Though there are bylaws in Delhi and other states in the country to fine people on whose premises mosquitoes are found breeding, there are none here. The civic agency needs to introduce such a provision in its bylaws so that we are authorised to fine violators,” said Mishra.
District magistrate Nidhi Kesarwani, however, did not agree with the idea. Kesarwani said there is no need to introduce such a law as the administration is focusing more on awareness.
“Until now, not a single case of dengue has been reported in Ghaziabad. Hence, I do not see the need to introduce such an act. We have been conducting awareness drives all across the city. Our focus is on carrying such drives rather than penalising people,” said Nidhi Kesarwani.
Though the health department has not reported a single case of dengue this year in Ghaziabad, the number of suspected dengue cases had reached 3,276 last year. Those affected were patients of private as well as government patients who had tested positive for the disease in Elisa and NS1 tests. Two deaths due to the disease were reported in the year.
At the meeting, the officials decided on a standard charge for Elisa test, carried out for confirming suspected dengue cases. The standard charge has been set for private laboratories and hospitals as the test is done free of cost at government hospitals.
“It has been found that during peak dengue season, private pathological laboratories and hospitals charge exorbitant amounts for Elisa tests. That is why we have now fixed the charge for the test at Rs 600. Action will be taken against those violating this rule,” said Mishra.
The officials also decided to carry out fogging in the city from the first week of September as the monsoon has made a comeback.
A letter in this regard will be sent to the civic authorities on Wednesday, officials said.
Meanwhile, doctors claimed that there has been a sudden spike in the number of suspected chikungunya cases in the city. Chikungunya and dengue is caused by the same vector carrying mosquito-- aedis aegypti.
Dr Pankaj Choudhary, senior consultant physician at Max Super Specialty Hospital, Vaishali, said, “For the past two weeks, 15 patients are coming to the OPD every day with symptoms of chikungunya. Though the same mosquito is responsible for dengue and chikungunya, they carry different strains (bacteria). One type of strain is responsible for dengue while other for chikungunya. In Ghaziabad, strain of chikungunya is more prevalent than dengue.”
Officials from the district malaria department in Gautam Budh Nagar also attended the meeting in Delhi.
Rajesh Sharma, district malaria officer, Gautam Budh Nagar, said, “It was decided at the meeting that campaign against dengue should not be limited to residential places, but should be extend to workplaces such as factories, mills and godowns and also to schools, offices and colleges,”
He said at the meeting, it was also discussed that transfusion of platelets to patients is not needed if the count is above 10,000.