BMC’s fight against dengue, malaria and leptospirosis takes a backseat amid coronavirus outbreak

Mumbai: With monsoon hardly a month away, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) premonsoon preparation to curb the outbreak of dengue, malaria and leptospirosis has taken a back seat amid the fight against Covid-19. Unlike every year, the insecticide department of BMC hasn’t started its combing operations including door-to-door inspections, fogging, spraying disinfectants, identifying breeding grounds and killing rodents, among others.

The last five years data of dengue, malaria, leptospirosis and gastroenteritis in Mumbai has shown a spike in the number of cases between May to September. However, following the Coronavirus outbreak this year, the BMC's insecticide department and health department have not recorded data of the above diseases since January 2020. Even though the civic body has started its pre-monsoon work, however, the annual combing operation ahead of monsoon has not begun yet.

The insecticide department usually commences its premonsoon activities from March onwards. It has been working since the last two months in three shifts to disinfect government offices, residential areas, Police stations and hospitals where covid-19 cases have been traced. In June 2019, the city saw eight cases of dengue, 15 cases of malaria and five of leptospirosis. For the first time in a decade, Mumbai didn’t record a malaria death last year. Earlier this year in January, the civic body has recorded as many as 219 suspected dengue cases. Of which 19 turned out to be confirmed.

“Every year, the pre-monsoon preparations begin by March. This year we are so busy with coronavirus related work that we haven’t gotten time for combing operation or recording cases coming up. We have been assigned duties in housing societies and hospitals for Covid care," said an official of insecticide department.

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