The Punjab government has decided to introduce new regulations that will make it the responsibility of citizens to take “all measures necessary” to remove the dengue mosquito from their properties.
Proposals for the implementation of the regulations, which would remain in force until November 30, were discussed at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Tuesday.
“Under the regulations, all citizens would be responsible for taking all those measures at the houses, shops, offices, go-downs, workshops, factories and other places which are under their use or control, as are necessary for checking the growth of the dengue mosquito and the spread of the virus,” said a press release. No penalties were mentioned.
Addressing the meeting, the chief minister said that officials should start preparing for the potential outbreak of dengue next year, after considering the recommendations of Sri Lankan and Indonesian experts and elected representatives. There should also be a mechanism for the training of medical staff from private hospitals, he said.
He said that all hospitals must certify that their premises are free of dengue larvae. He said that the spraying of insecticides at tyre go-downs must continue and tyres must not be stored in open places during this process. He said that all tube-wells of the city should also be checked for dengue larvae and sought reports from elected representatives in this regard.
The chief minister again thanked the Indonesian health experts assisting the Punjab government with dengue treatment. The leader of the Indonesian team, Dr Rita, gave a detailed briefing on the training of doctors, nurses and paramedics during their visits to hospitals in Lahore. She said that she was hopeful that with continued hard work, the dengue situation would soon be under control.
The Lahore commissioner told the meeting that 1,700 potential mosquito breeding sites in 61 union councils had been identified and would be cleaned. He said that more than 100,000 tons of garbage had been removed in a cleanliness drive.
The higher education secretary said that students were counselling dengue fever patients and had helped 368 patients in ten hospitals so far.
Two more people died of dengue in Lahore on Tuesday, taking the total number to die from the disease to 183 in the city and 203 in Punjab.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 12th, 2011.