Saturday January 19, 2019

Dengue stings Delhi as govt sleeps under opaque mosquito net

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“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.

Next Story

Delhi Sees More Number of Dengue Cases This Winter Than The Last One

In 2015, Delhi saw its worst dengue outbreak with more than 11,800 cases and 60 deaths, according to the city's civic bodies

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Aedes
Dengue is transmitted by the bite of the Aedes mosquito that typically attacks during day time. Pixabay

A new municipal report suggests that dengue cases have increased in the months of November and December this year compared to 2017.

According to the weekly report by the MCD released on Monday, 1,062 dengue cases were recorded in November 2018 while it was 816 in 2017. Even in December 2017, only 81 cases were reported in the national capital while this year 117 cases have already been reported till December 15. Forty-two fresh cases have been registered in the past one week.

So far, four deaths caused by dengue have been confirmed in Delhi which includes a 13-year-old girl from Wazirabad area. The other three cases are reported to be from west and north Delhi.

However, as per the report, 2,774 people have been diagnosed with the vector-borne disease in Delhi so far in 2018. However, the number is less than what it was in 2017 — 4,704.

Delhi sees more dengue cases this winter than last.

In 2015, Delhi saw its worst dengue outbreak with more than 11,800 cases and 60 deaths, according to the city’s civic bodies.

As for malaria, only one new case surfaced last week taking the toll to two till now for the month. In November, 33 malaria cases were reported in the city, according to the municipal report. So far, 473 malaria cases have come to light, while in 2017 it was 575.

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No new cases of chikungunya were reported this week keeping the total number of cases at 3 in the national capital while in November, there were 28 cases. Till date, a total of 164 chikungunya cases have been reported in the city compared to 551 in 2017. (IANS)