Battered Delhi braces for disease outbreak

The authorities are now worried over the spectre of water-borne diseases.
A woman takes shelter under the Old Yamuna Bridge
A woman takes shelter under the Old Yamuna Bridge

NEW DELHI: The third day of a receding-rising Yamuna brought in its wake a bigger threat: waterborne diseases. The mud and muck being scooped out from the flood-hit areas are testing every strained nerve of the people trying to cope with the unprecedented floods.

The Yamuna showed a slight rise on Monday, though, amid growing concerns over cleanup efforts and public safety. At 6 am, the water level measured 205.45 metres, which gradually rose to 205.50 m at 8 am and 205.76 m by 11am. Still, it stayed above the danger level with light rain being forecast for the day.

According to the Central Water Commission, the current flow of the river stands at 205.94m and is expected to reach 206.1m by 9 pm. On Sunday, the Yamuna level had dropped to 205.45m. Displaced families are advised not to return to their permanent residences until the situation is fully under control.

The authorities are now worried over the spectre of water-borne diseases. Health Minister Saurabh Bhardwaj has issued directions to disaster management wards at Swami Dayanand Hospital and Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital to be ready for any medical situation.

“After flooding, there is a fear of cases of vector-borne disease like dengue, chikungunya and malaria rising. But that trend is not being seen at the moment. Cases of conjunctivitis and skin allergy are mostly being reported from relief camps,” Bhardwaj told reporters during his visit to a Delhi government hospital.
Over 160 dengue cases have been reported in the national capital till mid-July, the highest for this period since 2018, according to a civic body report released on Monday. 

Yellow alert issued today

  • A ‘yellow’ alert issued for Tuesday, with the possibility of a generally cloudy sky, along with light rain or thundershowers
  • The maximum and minimum temperatures likely to hover around  33 degree Celsius and 26 degree Celsius, respectively
  • Yamuna water level reached 205.94 metres at 7pm on Monday and remained above the danger mark of 205.33 metres
  • The water level may touch 206.1 metres by 9pm, according to a Central Water Commission forecast
  • 163 dengue cases, 43 malaria cases reported from January 1-July 15, the highest for this period since 2018, according to MCD report      
  • 54 cases of malaria have been recorded in the same period, says MCD report 
  • Fogging & spraying of insecticides in flood relief and shelter camps have been carried out to prevent vector-borne diseases
  • The MCD commissioner has been directed to deploy drones for mosquito surveillance and control
  • Delhi University has postponed 2nd-year exams for regular, School of Open Learning students

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