Each ward will be visited by 50 squads, with a minimum of three members each, and each squad will cover 44 to 58 houses

Come November 4, 5,000 squads, comprising personnel from the city Corporation and the Department of Health, will fan out in the capital city to try and tackle a looming health hazard—dengue fever.

Beginning 8 a.m. on the day, an intensive drive will be held to identify and destroy the breeding grounds of mosquitoes. The 100 city Corporation wards have been divided into 25 zones for the day-long programme. Each ward will be visited by 50 squads, with a minimum of three members each, and each squad will cover 44 to 58 houses.

Junior Health Inspectors, Junior Public Health Nurses, the district’s 3,000-strong ASHA workers, Kudumbasree members, Anganwadi workers, residents’ association representatives and volunteers from various youth and social welfare groups will be the mainstay of the drive. Overseeing the work of the squads will be District Medical Officer T. Peethambaran, District Programme Manager of the National Rural Health Mission B. Unnikrishnan and Corporation Health Officer D. Sreekumar. “It will be held through the day and will continue as a weekly affair for the next three weeks,” Dr. Sreekumar told The Hindu.

Corporation officials would conduct surveys, as a precursor to giving the pipe-compost project a new lease of life. “It is the CleanWell workers who will be responsible for the maintenance of these systems. For the time being, the best way to dispose of organic waste generated at houses is to deal with them at the source itself,” said the Health Officer, adding that the mobile incinerator, once started functioning, would probably be used to deal with the waste that has accumulated in market areas and waysides.

Corporation health standing committee chairperson S. Pushpalatha said that a public awareness campaign was the prime agenda of this programme, a view reiterated by Mr. Peethambaran. In a press release issued here, the DMO solicited the cooperation of the public, and residents’ associations in particular. He has also included a list of possible spots where the Aedes mosquito could breed, such as terraces, sun-shades, behind refrigerators and air conditioners and objects such as coconut shells.

Notices to hotels

The Corporation health officials inspected 28 hotels in the city last week and issued notices to 16. A press note here said a second stage of inspections was held in hotels which were issued notices earlier. Action was initiated against 22 persons for dumping garbage in public places and Rs.17,520 was levied as fine from them. Of the 86 shops inspected, four were found using plastic bags below 40 microns in thickness.