Efforts focus on all areas identified as hotspots of mosquito breeding

The Chennai Corporation on Tuesday carried out fogging operations on a war footing in all areas identified as hotspots of mosquito breeding. This follows reports of two dengue deaths in the city.

Residents of many localities said the frequency of fogging operations had increased this week. “The mosquito density has been high. By 5 p.m., the mosquitoes become a menance at home. The malaria workers did not carry out fogging in the past few months and did not take efforts to reduce breeding sources in our neighbourhood. Now they have started fogging. A worker visited our area on Monday,” said a resident of Anna Nagar West.

Fogging operations in hotspots such as Velachery, Sowcarpet, Tiruvanmiyur, K.K. Nagar and Saligramam, Kasimedu and Korrukupet would be intensified, said a Corporation official.

“We want consistent efforts by the malaria workers to reduce mosquito density in our area. We have also taken initiatives to prevent mosquitoes. I planted nochi on my premises recently and it seems to be effective,” said Jaswant Singh, a resident of Mogappair.

The Corporation uses 550 sprayers, 350 fogging machines and 67 vehicle-mounted fogging machines for mosquito control. But there is no mechanism to consistently regulate the operations of the malaria workers, a Corporation official said.

In many zones, a number of malaria workers are being engaged in other works that do not relate to public health. This had had an impact on the civic body’s mosquito control programme, he said.

As many as 3,200 workers are involved in mosquito control in the city. One malaria worker is responsible for mosquito control in 500 houses. But residents of many neighbourhoods continue to be unaware that such dedicated malaria workers are around to help them cope with the mosquito menace. “If we know the malaria worker, we will be able to seek his help,” said R. Saravanan, a resident of Nungambakam.

The Corporation is yet to screen 16.5 lakh houses for domestic breeding sources. Of the 17 lakh households, 50,000 houses have been screened so far.

Meanwhile, a press release on Tuesday stated the Corporation has “taken action to fill up vacant posts of sanitary inspectors. Some of these inspectors who have small divisions have been asked to hold additional charge of the vacant divisions. However, this has not affected the performance of the health department and control of vector and water-borne diseases is being effectively done, which is indicated by the fact that the number of cases of malaria, dengue and ADD is far lower than last year and is further showing a declining trend. In fact, contrary to reports in the media there has been no death on account of dengue so far this year.”

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