Dengue stings Delhi as govt sleeps under opaque mosquito net


“One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic.”

~Joseph Stalin

As Aam Aadmi Party leader Kumar Vishwas awaits a personal call from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Dadri lynching (as a statement made in Bihar rally won’t do), which took place under UP government’s watch, a statistic appears in news items. It says that the dengue cases have crossed 10,000 mark in Delhi, the worst since 1996.

As we know, there is no clear statistics on whether the Aedes mosquito bites Hindus or Muslims, AAP government and leaders in Delhi appear least concerned. Unofficial death toll remains 41 this year as against the official 30. Another big scam that hospitals and government normally play is that they give any other reason for deaths but dengue.

People are said to have died of dengue but the certificate would say something else. Of course, I can quote (the often abused) journalistic sources, but I would rather say it is my wild assumption that it takes place in every hospital under government watch. Moreover, ready to doubt my own journalistic credibility, I am also saying I might be wrong.

Let’s move on and discuss dengue. The AAP government was sworn in on Valentine’s Day this year. It had campaigned raising issues of water logging, health, education, women safety and many more. It won with unheard majority of 67-3 only bettered in Sikkim, in recent times, where there was no opposition in 2009-14 assembly. So much romance, and promises so romantic.

AAP think tank VC and leader Ashish Khetan has given a statement where he claims that the Delhi government is working towards “complete abolition of dengue in the state.” He didn’t stop with this, rather tamed the fascination of us Indians with the word ‘international’, as he said that new measures that were being implemented at “international level” were being examined and reviewed.

What else can you want? The AAP government is planning to send a team to China to meet the scientists involved in the project, as per Ashish Khetan. He also welcomed any research that could alleviate dengue.

Let’s applaud Mr Khetan for the efforts that Delhi is making. The only question is what was the government doing all this long?

Was it not known to them that rainy seasons in Delhi result in dengue outbreak every year? Were they waiting for some Chinese scientists to let them know or did they think the Kejriwal majority should be enough for the Aedes mosquito to leave Delhi as Congress?

They, at least, have a vision as claimed in their Delhi election manifesto (refer to pages 20-21 for health infrastructure). Shouldn’t they be applauded for taking time and writing all those mathematics (in decimal points) on solving health issues?

What can one do when blaming the MCD is easier that the implementation of the mathematics?

The timing of the Khetan’s statement is also appropriate as, irrespective of what the Delhi government does, dengue cases would decline with the onset of winter. AK Gadhpahilay, medical superintendent of Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, confirmed the same saying, “As winter arrives, dengue cases will see a decline.”

It is not as if the government is doing nothing. They proposed a 400% hike to the MLA salaries and allowances. They must be doing more things like fixing some 15 lakh CCTV cameras so that the dengue mosquitos are spotted and BJP ruled MCD is blamed on the same bus stop poster, where a part of ₹526 crore advertisement says that they doubled the health budget.

This AAP government could have done better. Water logging remains a painful issue. I believe, Arvind Kejriwal lost the notebook where he wrote the solution to these problems while campaigning.

One more reason comes to mind: Is it due to free clean water to common men? This is ridiculous, but hey, what isn’t?

The delegation to China and complete abolition of dengue sounds great. However, this might just be a time buying tactic before winter arrives and numbers decline. This is not my cynicism, but a valid concern.

The question still remains: what were they doing since the rains and 10,683 cases that came in this year?

The answer is: taking stock of situation; looking for ways to blame anyone but themselves; creating adverts with concerned tone of Arvind Kejriwal appealing the Aedes mosquitos to leave the city on humanitarian grounds; waiting for mosquitos to do a ‘ghar wapasi’ and colour their wings saffron as they ‘lynch’ a Muslim man…

Who knows!

PS: In another news, second death was recorded due to swine flu. We hope some research must be going on in the Delhi government offices.