Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation steps up drive against mosquito breeding

In 2020, Mumbai’s malaria case tally crossed 11,000, up from 8,868 cases in 2019.

With cases of malaria, dengue and leptospirosis expected to surge in the monsoon, BMC has intensified its drive to visit government and private buildings for destruction of mosquito breeding sites.

In June, 72,835 premises were inspected for mosquito breeding, in 96 containers breeding of Anopheles mosquito (that spreads malaria) was found, in 306 containers breeding of Aedes Aegypti (that spreads dengue) was found, and breeding of both was destroyed. BMC carried out fogging exercise in 3751 buildings to kill mosquitoes.

“Last year since the entire city was under strict lockdown, our insecticide team faced difficulty in getting access into construction sites and buildings. We could not inspect premises for mosquito breeding. That had led to rise in malaria cases last year as water that accumulated in construction sites could not be treated,” said insecticide officer Dr Rajan Naringrekar.

Anopheles mosquito prefers to lay eggs in open spaces where water stagnates.

In 2020, Mumbai’s malaria case tally crossed 11,000, up from 8,868 cases in 2019. The cases surged due to uncontrolled breeding of anopheles mosquitoes in open spaces. Dengue cases on the other hand dipped from 14907 in 2019 to close to 3,000 in 2020 as people were mostly contained indoors, offices were shut and physical distancing ensured people did not gather in closed spaces for mosquito to transmit the disease.

Naringrekar said this year construction sites have been instructed to treat stagnated water with chemicals to stop mosquito breeding. Between January and May, 21408 premises were inspected and 2042 Anopheles mosquito breeding spots were found, another 41.4 lakh premises were inspected for Aedes breeding, and 12501 breeding sites were found.

Additionally, to control leptospirosis spread, rat burrows are poisoned to kill rats. In June 3,055 rats were killed by poisoning.

BMC has issued an advisory to people who waded through waterlogged streets on Wednesday following heavy rain. Those with open wounds or cuts, and in contact of street water, have been asked to take preventive medication.

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