Despite an alarming increase in mosquito menace, the GHMC has completely stopped the anti-larval operations citing the number of Covid-19 cases, according to the corporation’s entomology staff.
They will only spray sodium hypochlorite for containing the spread of Covid19 even as vector-borne diseases have been increasing.
Fourteen dengue cases have been reported in private hospitals and the civic body is reluctant to reveal the number of cases in government hospitals.
Outsourcing staff working in the GHMC entomology wing said that with over 500 Covid-19 cases being reported in the city daily, they had been directed to spray disinfectants at 40 houses per circle.
“We have to spend at least 30 minutes at each house. Though we work 24/7, it would be impossible to take up containment activities given the number of Covid-19 cases. Senior officials have unofficially asked us to take up only containment activities,” an entomology wing worker told Deccan Chronicle, requesting anonymity.
Dr A. Rambabu, chief entomologist, rubbished the claims and said the entomology staff was deli-berately tarnishing the image of the GHMC. He said the corporation had deployed 16 teams consisting of 104 workers to take up anti-larval operations.
“We have also deployed 64 vehicle-mounted fogging machines and 305 mini-fogging machines. The entomology staff has been simultaneously spra-ying disinfectant against Covid-19 with one hand and pyrethrum on the other to prevent mosquito breeding.”
He said the corporation had shortlisted 39 lakes and floated tenders worth `49 crore for de-weeding and anti-larval operations there using 11 drones in water bodies including the Musi river.
He said larvae-eating gambusia fish were released in 24 ponds to stop mosquito breeding.
“We are doing our best to control the menace and have prepared an advanced action plan for September and October when matters would turn worse,” he said.
However, sources said that the GHMC had only prepared an action plan and could only execute it after finalising the tenders. Though instructions were given to zonal commissioners, they were yet to deploy additional staff; they had not even drafted an action plan.