Fogging and waste removal, main components of the drive

Over the last two days, the Coimbatore Corporation removed 30 tonnes of worn out tyres dumped at various places in the city, as part of a drive to eliminate breeding spaces for Aedes aegypti, the mosquito that carries and transmits flavivirus, which causes dengue.

Corporation Commissioner T.K. Ponnusamy said on Friday that this exercise would continue and warned people against discarding tyres in the open. The tyres, along with coconut shells, plastic carry bags, broken bulbs and plastic items can hold rain water and serve as breeding spaces for the mosquitoes.

The district administration, Department of Public Health and local bodies will carry out an intensive dengue prevention drive over the next two months, primarily looking at ridding the district of all sources of breeding.

Though dengue is endemic to Coimbatore, the specific focus on the next two months is to prevent a spurt during the southwest monsoon.

Fogging and waste removal are the main components of the preventive drive.

The health department will provide the expertise in diseases prevention and management and the local bodies will be relied upon to supply the manpower needed to carry out fogging and removal of discarded waste.

The decision to carry out the drive was taken at a meeting held on Wednesday at the Coimbatore Corporation and also at the one held on Thursday by Collector M. Karunagaran.

The administration and health authorities plan to hold a meeting with private hospitals on managing dengue patients.

“Hospitals will have to provide mosquito nets to dengue patients. We do not want the virus transmitted from infected patients to non-infected patients in hospitals. Though dengue patients need not be quarantined like the A (H1N1) patients, the net is a basic measure to prevent mosquito-human contact and the consequent spread of the virus,” Deputy Director of Public Health, S. Senthilkumar said.

The health authorities are also planning an intensive drive in schools as soon as they re-open. The students will be sensitised to rid their campus of mosquito breeding sources and also carry out a similar exercise at home and surroundings.

“We are into the process of charting out a two-month plan that will include sensitisation of various sections and also physically removing all potential threats of dengue,” Dr. Senthilkumar said.

While the two meetings held by the authorities were at the macro level, the health officials will rope in block development officers for implementing the plan even in the remotest rural area.

There are indications of temporary workers being deployed in the rural areas to carry out preventive measures.

One of the key measures is to target water-holding structures such as overhead tanks. While the local bodies will clean its water tanks and make the water stored inaccessible for mosquitoes, the public will be sensitised to follow similar measures.

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