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Maharashtra declares war on dengue, classifies as a ‘notifiable’ disease

Staff Reporter | Updated on: Thursday, May 30, 2019, 02:10 PM IST

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Classifies it as a ‘notifiable’ disease where officials can enter residential premises to check for larvae breeding of mosquitoes which cause dengue and malaria. The health officials have been asked to carry out surprise visits to hospitals in Mumbai to check for stocks of medicines and hygiene conditions.

Mumbai: The municipal corporation of Mumbai is likely to prosecute those people who block access to officials from the public health department from carrying out checks in private housing colonies and bungalows to locate breeding grounds for mosquitoes that can cause dengue and malaria.

This is in tandem with a recent directive issued by the state government where dengue has been declared as a ‘notifiable disease’ whereby it will be possible for the officials to enter housing colonies to check if there is any breeding of mosquitoes and then take preventive action. “This decision will also enable the municipal corporation to get information from private hospitals if they have any cases of dengue in their set up,” said Dr Mini Khetrapal, deputy municipal executive health officer.

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The official said that their staff has been carrying out regular surveys in various areas that are likely to be breeding grounds for the mosquitoes. It has to be understood that this is not about the health of a particular person, but about public health, she said. ”Hence the municipal corporation has the powers to prosecute anyone who does not co-operate in this exercise,” Dr Khetrapal said.

Another municipal official said that they have always faced opposition from owners of bungalows and apartments of some film actors who feel that this is a useless exercise. “They probably feel that the municipal staff is trying to enter their house to meet with the film actor, which is hardly the case,” he pointed out. It is important to keep a regular check on the breeding grounds of these vectors so the number of cases are under control, he pointed out.

The state minister of health, Dr Deepak Sawant said that Maharashtra government has classified dengue as a `notifiable disease’ which will further help in keeping this disease under check. The minister said that compared to last year, the number of malaria patients has declined and said that the government will distribute 1.10 lakh mosquito nets sent by the Central government in regions where malaria cases have been reported. He added that around 2,800 health workers have been given detailed training to deal with dengue cases.

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Sawant said that last year 14,201 malaria cases were detected, whereas this year till June end 9,378 cases were found and no deaths have been reported so far.

Referring to the rise in cases of water-borne diseases like gastroenteritis, the minister said that authorities have been asked to check drinking water sources. “This year around 31 cases of gastroenteritis have been detected, 25 cases of diarrhoea, nine cases of hepatitis, one case of typhoid and five cases of cholera in the city,” he said.

In fact, the health officials have been asked to carry out surprise visits to hospitals in Mumbai to check for stocks of medicines and hygiene conditions.

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The minister also said the government has intensified its drive against companies in the business of selling ice. He said that “I have asked the FDA to intensify drive against companies selling ice. The source of water they use needs to be ascertained to keep in check water-borne diseases. Since there is a spike in water-related ailments cases, we have decided to conduct a massive drive to control diseases spreading through water,” he said.

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Published on: Friday, July 15, 2016, 09:54 AM IST