BHUBANESWAR : Even as Covid cases have begun declining, dengue cases have posted a 15-fold rise in the State. With 11 new cases on Saturday, all from Khurda district, the State has recorded 7,018 dengue cases this year as compared to 497 cases last year.
The number of infections registered in last 11 months is the second highest in the recent years. The highest 8,380 cases and 11 deaths were reported in 2016, 5,198 cases in 2018, 4,158 cases in 2017, 3,758 cases in 2019 and 2,450 cases in 2015. No deaths due to dengue have been recorded in last two years hit by the Covid pandemic.
The test positivity rate was recorded 18.8 per cent (pc), also the highest in the last one decade. As many as 37,302 samples, including over 50 pc from Bhubaneswar, were examined during the period.
Khurda is the worst hit in both dengue and Covid as of the total 7,018 dengue cases recorded so far, 3,729 were from the district, followed by 397 from Puri, 321 from Cuttack, 291 from Jagatsinghpur, 283 from Malkangiri, 258 from Rayagada, 211 from Ganjam, 171 from Jajpur, 126 from Gajapati, 108 from Koraput and 107 from Balasore.
While about 90 pc of the Khurda’s dengue cases is from Bhubaneswar despite the joint efforts of the Health department, the city continues to report cases daily.
The disease took a frightening form in September and October contributing more than two-third of the cases.
For the last more than three months, lakhs of rupees have been spent on anti-larvae spray and fogging operations, but there has been no let up in the number of dengue patients.
Health experts blame a prolonged monsoon and lackadaisical attitude of the civic body officials in carrying out cleanliness drive for the dengue outbreak, reiterating that dampness provides an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes.
“Blatant littering, mounds of garbage, waterlogged roads and poor sanitation plagues even hospitals, leading to spread of the vector-borne disease in the Capital city. No cleanliness drive was conducted in the city parks closed during the pandemic till the civic body was directed following the outbreak,” admitted an official.
Meanwhile, the health authorities believe there will be a reduction in the number of dengue cases with the dip in temperature.
“From around 40 a day to 11 now, the cases have come down significantly. As drastic measures have been taken for source reduction, there is no room for the spread,” Director of Public Health Dr Niranjan Mishra said.