Dengue surveillance starts in ‘sensitive’ UCs

Health authority says early start will prevent spread of mosquito-borne disease

Jamil Mirza April 21, 2020

RAWALPINDI: Even as the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic keeps the health authorities fully occupied, the district health authority (DHA) has started its annual exercise of searching and destroying dengue larvae in Rawalpindi, particularly in the six union councils (UCs) which were a hotbed for the vector-borne epidemic last year.

For this purpose, the indoor and outdoor surveillance teams have started visiting these UCs, including Dhoke Ratta, Ratta Amral, Dhoke Hassu, Bangash Colony, Pirwadhai and Hazara Colony.

“Door-to-door operations to destroy dengue larvae has also commenced in selected areas to control the epidemic which claimed 91 lives across the country last year,” DHA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr Sohail Chaudhry told The Express Tribune on Monday.

Citing different reasons, including the ongoing lockdown, Chaudhry claimed that dengue does not present the same threat this year as it has in the past.

However, he said that they will continue their active surveillance to eliminate all chances of an epidemic breaking out.

So far, he said, their teams have not reported large dengue larvae concentrations, adding that the authority has hired as many as 1,300 contractual workers and more than 800 daily-wage workers for dengue surveillance.

Furthermore, he said that the DHA has also started hiring employees on daily-wages to replace those who have withdrawn from the campaign, citing fears about Covid-19. The campaign is being overseen at the district and tehsil levels by the district emergency response committee (DERC), Chaudhry said.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 21st, 2020.


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