CHENNAI: With the city reporting a sudden rise in dengue cases, the Chennai Corporation has stepped up vector-control measures, even while continuing its fight against the coronavirus.
Corporation Commissioner G Prakash, in a meeting held recently, ordered the civic body’s assistant engineers to identify owners of empty plots, buildings and issue them notices and prevent the spots from turning into breeding grounds.
He asked domestic breeding checkers to submit detailed ward-wise reports on how many houses are vulnerable and prone to have stagnant water or uncovered water containers. Apart from this, the civic body will also begin fogging operations and spraying larvicide in vulnerable places.
“The staff must focus on slum areas to prevent diseases like malaria. Sanitary staff must ensure that there is no delay in collecting garbage and there is no sewage stagnation,’’ Prakash said. The door-to-door fever staff can also ensure that people do not store water in open containers, he added.
The announcements come in the wake of dengue cases being reported at the civic body’s fever camps set up for COVID screening. Recently, a total of 3,400 malaria workers were shifted from COVID duty to vector-control work across the city.
Public Health Department officials said sewage stagnation and storing of potable water in open containers are often noticed in north Chennai areas.
“We have identified close to 30 hotposts where sewage or rainwater stagnation usually occur. As and when a report on stagnation is received, we will clear it with assistance from the Chennai Metrowater,’’ an official said.
A spurt in cases of vector-borne disease during the pandemic could be a double-whammy to the city as symptoms of both infections are similar. However, officials hope there won’t be a problem in diagnosis.
“Instructions have been clearly given to Urban Primary Health Centre doctors to do tests for dengue, malaria and cholera before doing a PCR test. Doctors at fever camps are also well-trained to pick up respiratory symptoms for COVID as dengue may not have such symptoms,’’ the official added.