JAGATSINGHPUR: Panic has gripped residents of Jagatsinghpur municipality and eight other blocks of the district owing to the sudden spike in dengue cases within a month. Locals attribute the reason to the lack of fogging machines which are used to kill the mosquito larvae and prevent the spread of the disease.
Sources said the situation is grim in ward numbers 9, 16 and 17 under Jagatsinghpur municipality. They said these wards are mostly inhabited by the rural population which occupies 80 per cent of the areas and the rest are urban localities. While fogging and spraying are going on in full swing in the urban localities, sources informed that rural areas are neglected.
Residents of ward no 17 complained that no fogging and spraying activities are conducted in Deuligrameswer, Panisalia, Thakurpatana, Khersa and other villages where dengue cases are on the rise.
“Lack of fogging and spraying in the rural areas under different wards have led to the surge in dengue cases and this is due to a shortage of fogging machines. We had apprised the matter to the authorities but to no avail,” said Debasis Swain, councillor of ward no 17.
As per information, there are 21 wards under Jagatsinghpur municipality and so a big fogging machine is required to check mosquito breeding. The civic body owns a small bike-mounted machine but it has been lying defunct since last week. A new fogging machine was procured around three days back but it is not large enough to cover all the wards. Only four wards out of 21 have been covered for fogging as of now.
Health department sources informed only 10 dengue cases had been reported till July 15. However, the cases soon rose to 167 within a month. Additional district public officer Pramod Kumar Barik said the department has urged the municipal authorities to conduct fogging and spraying in areas where water logging is severe. “Besides, health officials have been pressed into service to create public awareness. Around four dengue patients have been admitted to hospitals but no casualty has been reported so far,” he added.