West Bengal: Dengue circumstances are on the rise, residents and civil officers blame one another

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The residents of Sachindra Lal Sarani and Baguipara in the Baguiati area of ​​northern Kolkata keep their doors and windows closed and spend hours in mosquito nets during the day. The mosquito threat in the area is so great that locals are forced to hang their mosquito nets on their windows.

Two people died of dengue in the area in the past month, and at least one person in every other home has the vector-borne disease. Local residents blamed the prevailing situation on the city authorities’ failure to track down the breeding grounds.

Baguiati falls under the jurisdiction of the Bidhanagar Municipal Corporation.

Sanjay Saha, who lost his wife Shatabdi Saha to dengue on November 8, blamed the deaths on heavy rainfall and neglect of civil society.

“We had record precipitation this year. There is vacant lot near my house that has been turned into a garbage dump. Dengue cases are common here every year. In 2019 my wife had dengue fever and she survived. However, that year she developed a fever again and died in the hospital a few days later. ”Sanjay, who has an 11-year-old son, told The Indian Express.

“A timely dengue prevention campaign by civil authorities in the area could have saved lives lost to the disease …” he added.

Sudip Banerjee, who lives about half a kilometer from Saha’s home, was critical after a dengue infection and was admitted to a private hospital for almost five days. At home now, Sudip spends most of his time at home in his mosquito net. He is the third person in his family to test positive for dengue.

Sudip accused city authorities of failing to clean Baguiati, where stagnant water had accumulated and became true breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Dengue cases have been reported from several districts, including North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, excluding Calcutta. In the past month, many areas under the communities of Bidhananagar and Dum Dum have reported an increase in dengue cases.

Several areas in and around Lake Town, Bangur, and Baguiati have become dengue hotspots.

The second dengue death was reported in the Baguati area on Tuesday. The victim was identified as Swapan Mistri, 57.

In recent years there have been deaths from dengue fever in Kestopur, Prafulla Kanan, Raghunathpur, Tegharia and Kaikhali.

When The Indian Express visited the area to check how far the disease had spread, it found that at least one member in every other household had dengue-like symptoms.

Pranay Kumar Ray, a director of Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation, said, “Dengue cases are reported regularly. On average, four to five cases are reported every day. Members of our Rapid Action vector control team have spread out to all six boroughs in the group area to search for vector breeding grounds. The exercise is carried out intensively throughout the year. Out of 10 homes they visit, at least 7 have stagnant water on the premises. We continue to organize awareness programs to ensure people keep their premises clean and vector-free. “

According to sources in the BMC, more than 300 dengue cases have been reported from various wards. As has been the trend for the past few years, cases tend to rise from September to the end.

The city reported 1,366 cases of dengue this year, up from 3,682 cases the previous year, according to a senior health official at Kolkata Municipal Corporation. The cases were reported between January and November 14th.

“In 2020 our entire focus was on Covid-19. Hence we consider it a blind year. The data shows that Covid cases fell sharply from 2019 to 2021, “said a senior doctor at the KMC.

Civic officials said they are using mosquito larvicide sprays on all wards and are urging residents to ensure there is no stagnant water anywhere in their homes.

At an event on November 8, Prime Minister Mamata Banerjee admitted there were dengue cases in the state, but said they were not in large numbers.

During an administrative meeting in Parganas in the north 24, she had expressed the hope that the number of malaria and dengue cases would decrease as soon as winter sets in. Health Minister Swarup Nigam, who was present at the meeting, said: “There is an increase in dengue cases in some areas. We run tests. The situation is currently under control. “

Doctors believe that persistent and heavy rainfall is one of the reasons for the rise in dengue cases. According to some medical professionals, the lack of sterilization and cleanliness in some areas leads to cases of dengue and malaria.

“Most of our civil administration employees are involved in Covid-19 tasks and vaccinations, which is why we are seeing an increase in dengue and malaria cases,” said a doctor at a state hospital who did not want to be named.

Many claimed that this situation was much worse than what is being reported. Speaking to The Indian Express, Dr. Manas Gumta of Sagore Dutta Medical College and Hospital in Barrackpore: “The actual numbers are higher than the figures. About 6-7 dengue patients are admitted to our hospital every day. “

However, the state administration runs vector control campaigns with the same intensity all year round.

“Our homogeneous approach has paid off. The results are reflected in the data. This year the KMC recorded 68 percent fewer cases of dengue than in 2019. However, malaria cases have increased. But with the onset of winter, malaria would soon be no longer a problem, “said Subrata Roy Chowdhury, KMC’s chief medical officer of health.

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