HYDERABAD: With close to 60 per cent of SNDP (Strategic Nala Development Programme) works pending and fears of nala waters getting stagnated even this monsoon, people living nearby drainage lines fear increase of mosquito menace and heightened risk of vector borne diseases including dengue and malaria.
Some of the areas which are considered hotspots of such fevers are located in Jubilee Hills, Mehdipatnam, Charminar, Chandrayangutta, Alwal and Kukatpally circles of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC). Besides nalas, the areas at Musi riverbank and water bodies are considered to be safe haven of mosquitoes. “Those who live near nalas, Musi river and water bodies are at high risk. Moreover, the water which gets accumulated at garbage points could turn into breeding grounds. School going children are already suffering from fever in many places and if the GHMC ignores sanitation, there is risk of dengue and malaria spread,” said Md Ahmed, an activist in the Old City.
Some are of the opinion that the officials downplay the spread of dengue and downplay the numbers just like they did in case of Covid-19. “In most of the cases, the officials do not take into consideration the cases from private hospitals. Last year, scores of persons known to me were admitted to hospitals, but when it comes to private hospitals it did not go into records. I fear this will happen even this year,” felt M. Srinivas, secretary, Greater Hyderabad Central City Committee of the CPI (M), who earlier led a study on water borne diseases on Musi banks.
However officials maintained that all the mechanisms to control vector borne diseases were in place and the GHMC was keeping tabs on the development. “We only take into consideration cases of dengue through Elisa test from prescribed centres and there are only 61 confirmed cases under the GHMC limits this year and no case of Malaria,” informed chief entomologist, Dr Ram Babu.
“When a person visits a diagnostic centre, if he or she undergoes other tests, it is likely that dengue gets established just like the Covid. Dengue is also asymptomatic like Covid. Even dengue is losing its severity owing to herd immunity. Fatality rate was in the beginning, but now the cases are negligible,” he added.