GUWAHATI, May 21 - With the south-west monsoon expected to hit this region by the second week of next month, the Health department has intensified fogging across the city and its nearby areas to prevent cases of dengue and other mosquito-transmitted diseases.
Speaking to The Assam Tribune, Joint Director of Health Services Ganesh Saikia today said the efforts made by the Health department, in conjunction with the local authorities, including the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC), yielded positive results last year and attempt is being made to replicate the success this year as well.
“Around 5,200 dengue cases were diagnosed in the Kamrup Metro district during 2017. However, in 2018, the total number of reported cases came down to less than 90. We are attempting to bring down the numbers further and so we are adopting strategies similar to the ones which we undertook last year,” Dr Saikia said.
He said that fogging activities were formally started from April 1.
“We have taken up fogging activities as the main measure for vector control. Special focus is being given to those localities in Guwahati from which a greater number of dengue cases were reported during 2017 and 2018,” Dr Saikia said, adding that malaria and Japanese encephalitis (JE) cases are very negligible in the district.
Sonapur, Noonmati, Narengi, Kharguli, Pandu and some other localities situated near the Brahmaputra reported more cases in recent years, he added.
“The first round of fogging has already been completed in such areas. There will be repeat fogging activities till December. Altogether, out of the 31 wards under GMC, the first round of fogging has been completed in around 22-23 wards,” said the official.
Dr Saikia said that seven cases of dengue have been reported in the district, including five from Sonapur, so far this year.
“But, none of those cases was serious or critical,” he added.
The city has been divided into four zones – East Guwahati, Capital, Dhirenpara and West Guwahati – and Quick Response Teams (QRT) have been operationalised.
A total of 32 fogging machines are being used in the localities under the GMC.
“From the side of the Health department, we are using 19 potable machines. The GMC has put into service 11 potable machines and two large vehicle-mounted fogging machines,” said Dr Saikia. In addition, capacity building and awareness programmes amongst vulnerable segments of the population have also been taken up.