Delhi targets zero dengue deaths; launches campaign
New Delhi, Aug 28 (IANS) The Delhi government on Wednesday announced it will launch a campaign from Sunday to fight dengue and chikungunya in the national capital as it aims to have zero deaths owing to vector borne diseases this season.
Making the announcement, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urged people to give 10 minutes every Sunday towards curbing mosquito breeding in their homes.
He said for 10 Sundays between September 1 and November 15 -- the peak season for the diseases -- he will check his own home at 10 a.m. for 10 minutes to ensure there is no stagnant water for dengue mosquitoes to breed.
Kejriwal urged Delhi citizens to join the '10Hafte10Baje10Minute' (10 weeks 10 a.m. 10 minutes) campaign in which they will have to set aside 10 minutes every Sunday at 10 a.m. for the campaign.
He also said that along with the population, Delhi cabinet ministers, MLAs and schools would unite to fight dengue.
The Chief Minister appealed to the people to ensure there is no stagnant water in flower pots, coolers and other places at their homes.
"Mosquitoes lay eggs in clean stagnant water which become mosquitoes within 8-10 days. If we check all sources of stagnant water at our homes, we can prevent the outbreak of dengue and chikungunya," he said.
Sharing statistics, he said dengue cases have dropped in three years by 80 per cent. "This year Delhi will unite and end dengue."
"If all of us in Delhi inspect our homes for just 10 minutes every Sunday morning, we can successfully combat dengue. Make sure there's no standing water at any place in your home, and if there is, pour it out, replace it or pour oil over it."
He said dengue and chikungunya are among the most dreaded illnesses in the monsoon season not just in Delhi, but in the entire country.
"India is among one of the 100 endemic countries with the incidence of dengue on a continuous rise."
Kejriwal said that while the country faces an upward trend, Delhi's dengue cases have been lowering consistently in the past three years.
"In 2015, dengue cases were 15,867, but in 2018 they were down to 2,798. This is a massive drop of 80 per cent in three years," he said.
"In 2015, there were 60 deaths reported due to dengue and chikungunya and in 2018, only four," the Chief Minister added.
He also said the Delhi government's health budget has more than doubled from Rs 3,500 crore in 2014-15 to about Rs 7,800 crore in 2019-20.