At 119, Mumbai saw fewest dengue cases in 5 years in 2020: Civic body

According to data procured from the insecticide department, compared to last year, more breeding grounds of aedes mosquitoes, which spread dengue, were destroyed this year. While 51,509 breeding grounds were destroyed in 2019, BMC increased its tally to 62,872 this year
By Rupsa Chakraborty
UPDATED ON DEC 05, 2020 12:08 AM IST
The death rate has also dropped, with only two deaths from dengue reported this year so far.(HT File)

The city has recorded the lowest number of dengue cases and deaths in the last five years. Dengue cases year have dropped by 86.3% in Mumbai this year compared to 2015. The death rate has also dropped, with only two deaths from dengue reported this year so far.

According to data provided by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), 873 dengue cases were reported between January and November 2015, which increased to 1,130 during the same period in 2016. In 2017, Mumbai witnessed a slight drop in cases when the number fell to 1,102 in the those eleven months. In 2018 and 2019, the caseload further dropped to 884 and 881 respectively. This year, the city has recorded the lowest caseload — 119 — for the corresponding period.

Civic officials said the fall in numbers is due to preventive measures taken during the pandemic. “Since the starting of the pandemic in March, we initiated disinfection work in public places. On a larger scale, we carried our sanitation and fumigation work. We also oiled the stagnant water to destroy breeding grounds of mosquitoes,” said Dr Mangala Gomare, executive health officer, BMC.

According to data procured from the insecticide department, compared to last year, more breeding grounds of aedes mosquitoes, which spread dengue, were destroyed this year. While 51,509 breeding grounds were destroyed in 2019, BMC increased its tally to 62,872 this year. The most breeding grounds were found in E (Byculla) and G/South (Elphinstone) wards.

A senior officer from the insecticide department said, “Our whole department was given the responsibility of disinfection and sanitisation in societies with infected patients. Despite working round the clock, we paid equal attention to take precautionary measures for mosquito-borne diseases, which helped to control the [number of] cases.”

Another reason for lower numbers may be the restricted movement due to lockdown. Dr Manjusha Agarwal, general physician at Global Hospital, Parel said, “During this ongoing pandemic, people have tried to maintain a clean environment and focus on improved sanitation. Also as people are spending less time outdoors due to the restrictions imposed in the lockdown, it could have resulted in fewer dengue cases.”

Dr Om Srivastava, an epidemiologist from Khar said, the pandemic had helped to diagnose patients early, which in turn may have prevented fatalities. “As the symptoms of dengue are similar to Covid-19, many dengue patients were diagnosed early at fever camps. This helped to provide treatment without delay,” said Dr Srivastava.

Despite the improved figures for dengue, doctors advised that the authorities should not let down their guard. “On a regular basis, the civic body should keep removing the scrap materials and tyres which turn into breeding grounds,” said Dr Srivastava.

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