Delhi govt to launch SMS campaign for anti-dengue awareness

New Delhi: Grappling with rising cases of dengue, Delhi government today decided to launch an SMS campaign to educate people about preventive measures required to be taken to contain the spread of the disease.

Health Minister A K Walia said over 60 lakh text messages will be sent to citizens from tomorrow onwards primarily to inform them about the steps required to ensure that mosquito- causing dengue does not breed in their surroundings.

At a review meeting, Walia sanctioned Rs 5 crore to East, North and South Delhi municipal corporations and asked them to intensify fogging exercise across the city and take steps urgently to contain mosquito breeding.

He also directed the three civic bodies to engage 3,400 domestic breeding checkers (DBC) to carry out checking throughout the year in stead of the current practice of engaging them from April to November.

The DBCs carry out checks in households whether there is any possible mosquito breeding ground and accordingly recommend steps to municipal corporations.

Identifying overhead tanks as a fertile breeding ground for mosquitoes, the government has already decided to ask manufacturers of such tanks to put wiremesh around the lid so that mosquito cannot enter the tanks.

Walia also directed National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) and National Institute of Malaria Research (NIMR) to jointly provide training to DBCs from the first week of December so that they can perform their duties effectively.

So far, Delhi has reported 1,376 cases of dengue while four affected persons have died.

Officials briefed the Minister about steps taken to contain Malaria, H1N1, Chikungunya and Japanese Encephalitis in the city.

They said there have been 240 cases of Malaria this year as compared to 255 last year while 72 cases of swine flu have been reported till October.

Six Chikungunya cases have been reported this year.