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Dengue Cases Surge in Delhi

Delhi has reported 246 cases of dengue as of June 30, 2023, a rise more than double the previous year. The city has seen 122 cases in the first six months of 2022, 36 cases in 2021, and 20 cases in 2020.

However, civic officials have stated that there have been no dengue deaths this year. The Aedes aegypti mosquito, which breeds in stagnant water, is responsible for the disease.

Annual analysis of mosquito breeding site data from 2022 showed that around 58.5% of Aedes aegyti larvae were found in water storage units, 30.2% in peri-domestic units, overhead tanks accounting for 5.4%, sumps 2.1%, and desert coolers 3.8%.

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has recorded around 37,000 cases of mosquito breeding in the past six months in checks carried out by its workers. The civic body has issued around 40,000 challans and legal notices to property owners where breeding was found for violating the Malaria and other Vector Borne Diseases Bye-Laws, 1975.

The MCD has also started drives to check 234 mosquito breeding hot spots identified based on the high concentration of cases recorded in 2023.

In 2023, Delhi recorded 9,266 dengue cases and 19 deaths, which was the third worst outbreak of the viral infection in the city. However, the severity of the outbreak was obscured as civic bodies held back weekly data. The civic body stopped issuing the weekly reports last year, ahead of the G20, and the process has not been resumed.

Atul Goyal, president of an umbrella body of RWAs (URJA), said that the MCD should ensure transparency in the matter of public health and people should be aware of the scale of the problem. He suggested restarting issuing the weekly reports and implementing door-to-door campaigns.

Improved surveillance and data gathering by the MCD after 2021 when dengue was declared a notifiable disease under the Epidemic Diseases Act have contributed to the increase in case numbers.

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