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Cuttack dengue action plan crawls

The municipal corporation's action plan to contain the spread of dengue has been making tardy progress since it was launched 11 days ago.

By LALMOHAN PATNAIK in Cuttack
  • Published 5.09.18
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ACTION AT LAST: Fogging operation underway at Jagatpur in Cuttack on Tuesday. Picture by Badrika Nath Das

Cuttack: The municipal corporation's action plan to contain the spread of dengue has been making tardy progress since it was launched 11 days ago.

Although "a multi-pronged action plan" was drawn up to cover the 11 wards from where 24 dengue cases were reported, the civic body seems to have been stuck in just one ward. The slow pace was cause enough for concern as 20 more dengue cases, most of them in new areas, had been reported in between.

Health officer Umesh Panigrahi on Tuesday conceded that the action plan was still being implemented in ward No. 49 with concentrated focus on Jagatpur.

"We will move on to ward No. 35 with focus on the SCB Medical College and Hospital campus on Wednesday," Panigrahi said.

"After two days, the action plan will be extended to nine other wards in phases with two days for each," he added.

The outbreak of dengue has been attributed to poor hygiene and sanitation and accumulation of rainwater that is prone to breeding larvae of Aedes aegypti mosquito, which carry the dengue virus.

According to the plan, preventive measures include intensive bush cutting, clearance of blockages in drains, anti-larvicide oil spraying matched by intensive mosquito repellent fogging and release of mosquito larvae-eating fish in the drains, where construction is on and wastewater lies stagnant.

Official sources said the Cuttack collector chalked out the plan on August 23 after a review of the dengue situation based on a civic body report that indicated that the disease had spread to 11 of the 59 wards.

The action plan was initiated on the next day with focus on the 11 wards in the city from where 24 dengue cases had been reported.

Accordingly, the civic body had started off with ward No. 49 from where 14 of the 24 cases had been reported. One each had been reported from the other 10 wards.

"Special attention is being given to Jagatpur and the industrial estate there as it has been found to be the epicentre for the spread of dengue in ward No. 49 because of accumulation of wastewater due to the absence of a proper drainage channels," the health officer said.

He said completion of the operation was delayed as intensive anti-mosquito repellent fogging was interrupted by the inclement weather conditions and frequent rainfall.

Official sources said ward No. 35 was picked up next as the number of dengue cases on SCB Medical College and Hospital campus had gone up to four from one in the past 11 days.