MCD exhausts its larvicide stock, will to combat dengue
Be prepared for another big dengue outbreak this year. After refusing to fumigate the city citing health concerns and court directions, the MCD has now discovered that it has run out of bio-larvicides to kill mosquito larvae.Updated: May 06, 2011 00:14 IST
Be prepared for another big dengue outbreak this year. After refusing to fumigate the city citing health concerns and court directions, the MCD has now discovered that it has run out of bio-larvicides to kill mosquito larvae. Thus, it can't even implement its back-up plan.
After the 2006 dengue outbreak, the Supreme Court had advised the MCD against carrying out fumigation routinely. Inhaling chemicals can cause respiratory distress, especially in children, elderly and pregnant women, the court had said. "It can aggravate the condition of asthmatics and cause constriction of airway, bronchospasm in normal people, if inhaled for long" said Dr Bir Singh, professor, community medicine, AIIMS.
But now the option of using biolarvicides does not exist, at least not for another three weeks. "We have exhausted the larvicide stock after spraying thousands of homes and have placed order for new ones. We will get fresh stock within 20 days," said VK Monga, chairman of the MCD's health committee.
He cited Commonwealth Games as the reason why the MCD has run out these chemicals. "Last year, we had regularly fumigated the Games Village and venues to keep the area mosquito-free. This year, the situation is not that grave. So we have yet not started fumigation," admitted Monga.
With the Games now over, the MCD seems to be back to its normal lax self. It has not even managed to meet 50% of its biolarvicide targets as compared to last year. And what takes the cake is the MCD officials' terse dismissal of this discrepancy as extra measures taken keeping the Games in mind.
MCD has sprayed only 34,756 houses between January and April in 2011. Last year, in the same period, the number stood at 65,168. Legal notices for having "mosquito-genic" conditions were sent to 1,635 people till April 23, as against 2,629 in the same period last year. With three dengue cases having been reported already this year, MCD needs to get its act together.