Within 24 hours ending yesterday evening, 54 people have been hospitalised with dengue in Dhaka and experts said more people could be infected if measures were not taken immediately.
So far this year, 3,034 people had been infected in the capital and 11 of them died, according to data provided by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
Ringing alarm, experts urged authorities concerned and people to take prompt action to destroy the larvae of Aedes mosquitos, carrier of the virus, in neighbourhoods.
However, Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) Mayor Sayeed Khokon asked residents not to panic.
“Though the number of dengue patients is higher than that in the last two to three years, the situation is not alarming,” Khokon said at Eskaton Garden in the capital yesterday while inaugurating a two-week-long crash programme to eradicate Aedes mosquito larvae.
“Our representatives will go door to door and destroy Aedes mosquito larvae and destroy their breeding grounds,” he said, adding that residents would also be made aware of the dangers of Aedes mosquito breeding grounds.
Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Chief Health Officer Brig Zakir Hossain said, “We will also start a crash programme to kill Aedes mosquito and destroy their breeding grounds from September 9 and the programme will end on September 24.”
He said they formed five-member committees in every ward to find areas where Aedes mosquitos could breed. The committees, led by councillors, have already started working, he said.
Brig Zakir said they completed awareness programmes in zones and would start the same in schools soon.
An DGHS survey in May found 48 wards of 57 in DSCC and 26 wards of 36 in DNCC were vulnerable.
“We carried out the pre-monsoon survey in May and handed it over to the two city corporations for necessary steps,” said MM Akhtaruzzaman manager of DGHS Malaria and Dengue programme.
The report of another survey carried out in August was being prepared and would be given to the city corporations when done, he said.
Prof Meerjady Sabrina Flora, director of Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research, said people should clean inside and outside of their houses, including the roofs. They should not let water to remain in places like unused flowerpots, bottles, plastic bags and tyres where Aedes mosquitos could breed.
She advised people to go to the doctor a day after having a fever. She asked people to take rest and take a lot of fluids even after recovery as their health could deteriorate.
The DSCC in a survey between June 25 and July 15 found a large part of its areas at risk. Of the 2,599 buildings and construction sites it surveyed, it found Aedes mosquitos in 938 which were in Dhanmondi, Shukrabad, Sobhanbagh, Kalabagan, Kathalbagan, Gausia, Elephant Road, Nilkhet, Pilkhana, Buet, Shahbagh, Dhaka University, Bangladesh Secretariat, Topkhana Road, Segunbagicha, Siddheswari, Mouchak, Ramna, Kakrail, Eskaton Garden, Minto Road and Bailey Road areas.
According to the control room of DG Health, a total of 270 people died of dengue and 40,028 were infected since 2000. Of this, the highest 93 people died and 5,551 were infected in 2000.