Lull on dengue front as mercury dips, but fight goes on

Govt says there will be no complacency, preparation for next season to start this winter

The nip in the air may have stemmed the surge of dengue cases in the Capital, but the city government has decided that there would be zero complacency and preparations for the next season should start this winter itself.

Delhi Health Minister Dr A K Walia on Monday said: "Our doctors have told us that there is a definite drop in the number of the patients. Even blood banks are reporting fewer requests for platelets. But this should not create any complacency. We will continue with the round-the-clock service at blood banks. From December to March, we will prepare for the next dengue season."

He held a meeting with health officials on monsoon-related communicable diseases and reviewed the situation in the city.

Officials said the 3,400 workers who check mosquito-breeding spots would be working throughout the year. Such checks are normally conducted during the dengue and malaria season - April to November.

The government will also hold a training programme for these workers, called domestic mosquito-breeding checkers. This will improve their ability to identify and inspect more places which are conducive to mosquito breeding.

The government has directed National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) and National Institute of Malaria Research (NIMR) to train these "inspectors" from the first week of December.

NCDC has been instructed to prepare the training module.

To drum up public awareness, the government has planned to send as many as 60 lakh SMSes from Tuesday on how to control dengue.

Over 1,400 people have been diagnosed with dengue this year, while 240 malaria cases were reported.

The city also reported 71 cases of H1N1 (bird flu) till October, the last being seen on October 19. As many as 22 hospitals, including five private medical centres, have been identified for control and management of H1N1 cases.

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