43 hospitalised in 24 hours with malaria
Forty-three more people were hospitalised with malaria between Monday and Tuesday morning, according to civic records.mumbai Updated: May 19, 2010 01:24 IST
Forty-three more people were hospitalised with malaria between Monday and Tuesday morning, according to civic records.
Malaria cases usually plummet during summer but the mosquito-borne disease has already claimed three lives and infected more than 1,300 people this month. The spurt in malaria cases has raised questions about BMC’s mosquito-control activities.
Malaria is transmitted via the bite of mosquitoes that carry the malaria parasite. Since mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, the BMC fumigates sites of water collection across the city.
More than 1,500 construction sites in the city are major breeding spots for mosquitoes as water is often left unattended on slabs or in containers.
From May 1, however, the civic body had put the onus of fumigating construction sites on builders. A section of the BMC has criticised the decision saying that the BMC is shirking its responsibility.
“It is the BMC’s duty to keep the city disease-free. How can they dump it on builders?” said BJP corporator Ashish Shelar.
BMC’s Insecticide Officer Arun Bamne defended the decision saying they would conduct frequent checks at construction sites.
“We have sent circulars to 2083 builders informing them about their new responsibility,” he said. “We have held 31 meetings at all ward offices to make them aware of the need for keeping sites mosquito-free. More than 530 representatives have attended the meeting,” he said.
Bamne added that builders could hire any one of the three private agencies, which had been identified by the BMC, to carry out fogging and larvae-detection activity.
The BMC has filled 43 vacant posts in the insecticide department and some posts in the surveillance departments so that there are adequate officers to conduct anti-malaria drives.
Students from the Preventive and Social Medicine departments of KEM, Nair and Sion Hospital have also been roped in to do a door-to-door health check-ups before the monsoons, especially in the slums.
“We have also issued circulars to all housing societies, asking them to keep their overhead tanks clean,” said Bamne.