BERHAMPUR: Covid-19 infections might be on a decline but dengue is fast spreading its tentacles in Ganjam district, with 20 new cases being reported in the last 24 hours.
The tally of infections till Dec 31, 2021 stood at 333 in the district including 148 in Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BeMC) limits.
In 2016, Ganjam had recorded the highest dengue cases at 329. The vector-borne disease first raised its ugly head in July this year and since then has recorded atleast 50 cases on an average every month due to unseasonal rains.
Locals attributed this menace to zero steps being taken to streamline the distressed sanitation system in the district after the rainy season.
Pits along the roads and open drains filled with stagnant water have turned into breeding grounds for mosquitoes, besides uncleared garbage and waste dumped at various places.
Constructions of drains along the roads near Old Berhampur, Lanjipalli, Aska and Gata Bazar is progressing at snail’s pace, adding to the miseries of the residents in the area.
Sources said, BeMC has been engaged in sanitising unhygienic areas and sensitising people on preventive measures.
“Teams of health officials have been visiting villages and BeMC wards where positive cases are being reported,” said CDMO Dr Umashankar Mishra.
Meanwhile, locals have urged the civic body to spray insecticide and use fogging machines to check the spread of the infection.
“All possible measures are being taken to eliminate larva of the mosquitoes,” said Dr R Jagdish Patnaik, additional public health officer.
In 2012, dengue took the shape of an epidemic affecting over 533 persons in the district. The district recorded 143 cases in 2013, 64 in 2014, 74 in 2015, 329 in 2016, 146 in 2017, 155 in 2018, 307 in 2019 and nine in 2020.