Sandeep Joshi

NEW DELHI: Though the number of dengue cases in the Capital has shown a steep decline during the past fortnight mainly due to a drop in the temperature, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi has warned citizens against any laxity in preventing mosquito breeding in and around their homes. One more death was reported at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here during the past 24 hours when a resident of Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh died late on Friday night.

"People need to be careful, at least till December 15 when the day temperature will fall further. The morning and evening temperatures have dropped considerably. Still the day temperature is conducive for mosquito breeding. The only relief is that people have stopped using water coolers that were the main source of mosquito breeding in the city," said Municipal Health Officer N. K. Yadav.

During the past week, the temperature has been hovering between 15 and 30 degrees Celsius. "Things would improve further if the day temperature falls below 20 degrees. Till that happens, people should ensure that there is no stagnant water in and around their homes as it would lead to mosquito breeding," he added.

According to Dr. Yadav, only around a dozen cases were reported from Delhi during the past week, which clearly indicated that the worst was over. "With about 1.3-crore people living in Delhi, a dozen cases on a daily basis is no cause for panic. Earlier we were receiving around 50 to 100 cases everyday. However, we are still closely monitoring the situation," he said, adding that on Saturday, 20 dengue cases were reported from city hospitals, 14 of which were from Delhi.

At AIIMS, too, only two to three cases are being admitted now on a daily basis. The hospital administration has also stopped its special dengue screening service since November 8, while earlier screening was being done round-the-clock and special wards were set up to tackle the influx of dengue cases at AIIMS from Delhi and neighbouring States.

However, the situation in the neighbouring States, particularly Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, is still not under control as critical patients are still being brought to Delhi. Khursheeda, a 52-year-old resident of Baghpat in western Uttar Pradesh, was admitted to AIIMS on Friday evening. She was suffering from dengue haemorrhagic fever, a deadly form of the viral disease. She died the same night.

Though there have been three deaths in the past one week, none of them was a resident of Delhi. The last death from the city was more than 10 days ago. Since the outbreak in April this year, Delhi has seen more than 3,000 cases, of which around 2,000 were from the city alone, while more than 70 deaths (more than 50 per cent of these are from Delhi) have been reported so far. But for the MCD, the confirmed death toll is only 38, while 24 casualties are still included in the list of suspected deaths.