As a precaution to avert possible dengue outbreak, Sylhet City Corporation (SCC) started a special anti-mosquito drive yesterday.
SCC Chief Health Officer Dr Md Jahidul Islam said the drive will be conducted in two phases. "Under the first phase, to be implemented by the end of March, larvicide and adulticide will be sprayed in all 27 wards with a massive drive to clean canals and drains."
"Six workers will be spraying larvicide at each ward for six to seven days and, later, adulticide with fogging machine for three days. We have started the drive at ward-1 to 5," he said.
They will take 35 to 40 days to end the first phase covering all the wards, said the SCC official.
The month of April is scheduled for awareness campaign in all wards, said the chief health officer, adding that at that time they will make door-to-door and ward-to-ward visits.
He also said on completion of the first phase an entomologist will conduct a survey after collecting samples from all wards. The expert will observe whether there is any larva and submit a report by the end of April, said Dr Jahidul Islam.
"Based on the report, we will conduct the second phase drive that will start in early May and continue till July," he said.
Bikram Kar Samrat, councillor of ward-2, said, "Last year, we were not able to spray the ward completely due to pesticide crisis. This year, we are hopeful as the SCC authorities have planned the anti-mosquito drive early and assured us of enough stock."
Echoing him, Dr Jahidul said, "Currently, we have 1,000 litres of larvicide and the same amount of adulticide and those have been tested quality wise. Another 2,000 litres each will arrive soon."
In addition, he said, "We have submit a requisition to the health ministry for another 5,000 litres of pesticide. We hope that the ministry has enough stock." So, the drive will not stop due to pesticide crisis anyway, he added.
The official said, "This year, we started such drive early in a planned way and are hopeful that the city will not face dengue outbreak."
Last year, dengue fever turned into an epidemic in the capital and later spread to other districts across country, killing a large number of people, with little precautionary efforts by the authorities concerned against Aedes mosquito.