At least 96 cases of chikungunya have been reported in Delhi this year, with 10 of them being recorded this month, even as authorities are gearing up to combat any outbreak situation of the vector-borne diseases. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had recently directed authorities to make a comprehensive plan on it, while civic bodies are keeping a tab on mosquito-breeding, in and out of homes, through regular monitoring. 40 cases of dengue have also been reported till May 27, according to a municipal report released today.
Though the season of the vector-borne diseases had ended in December, the city continues to report such cases, prompting authorities to prepare a roadmap for the combat plan. Out of the 96 chikungunya cases, 19 were recorded last month, while 34 were diagnosed in March. 20 cases were detected in January and 13 in February. Eight dengue cases have been reported in May, according to the report by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) which tabulates it on behalf of all the civic bodies here.
Six cases of dengue were reported in January, four on February, 11 in March and as many in April.
As many as 4,431 cases of dengue were reported till the end of 2016. On May 13, Kejriwal had chaired a high-level meeting of officers from the three municipal corporations and the Delhi government to discuss plans to eliminate vector-borne diseases in the national capital. “Delhi will be made mosquito-free. We will have to get rid of mosquito-borne diseases. It will be made a people’s movement. It is only possible with people’s participation,” Kejriwal had tweeted.
He had also written to Union Health Minister J P Nadda, requesting him to reserve 10 percent of the beds in the central government-run hospitals for the treatment of dengue and chikungunya patients. Lt Governor Anil Baijal had on April 29 directed Delhi government-run LNJP Hospital to keep beds ready for dengue and chikungunya patients in the event of an outbreak of the vector-borne diseases in the city. Till January 14, only two chikungunya cases were reported, while no dengue case had been diagnosed till then.
Chikungunya and dengue cases in the national capital had tapered off by December first week last year ending the vector-borne disease season in the city that witnessed its worst chikungunya outbreak in the last 10 years, but cases are still being registered, prompting authorities to go for early preparedness. The municipal authorities had in early March called an all-hands workshop on the prevention and control of vector- borne diseases to finalise a comprehensive action plan for combating the menace in the coming season.
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In the workshop, SDMC Commissioner P K Goel had asked officials to “identify the cases of dengue and chikungunya coming to Delhi from other states”. The Lt Governor on March 23 had held a review meeting with the three municipal commissioners on preparations for combating vector-borne diseases in the city. At least 15 fatalities were reported last year at various hospitals in the city due to complications triggered by chikungunya though the civic bodies have kept the death tally at zero.
At least 21 deaths due to dengue were reported last year at various hospitals, including nine at AIIMS, though the official tally of the SDMC stood at 10. Seventeen suspected deaths in 2016 due to malaria were also reported by the civic bodies. In one of the worst outbreak, a total of 12,221 chikungunya cases were reported in Delhi till December 24, 2016, out of which 9,749 were confirmed. The season for the vector-borne diseases begins from mid-July and generally lasts till November-end.