Dhaka, Bangladesh
Dealing with dengue danger brooks no delay

Dealing with dengue danger brooks no delay

With fifteen more people hospitalised with dengue fever in the 24 hours until early Friday, the total number of active dengue cases sood at 100. According to media reports based on the information given by the Directorate General of Health Services, 93 of the total cases were reported from the capital alone. Moreover, the health authority has confirmed that 959 dengue cases have been reported since January in the country, while 863 patients recovered in the period. Although the number of death from the virus infection has not yet been confirmed by the health authority, at least five have reportedly died because of dengue thus far. Overall, the country has been facing a steady rise in the deadly disease cases for the past few weeks, in a late advent this year. Last year, Dhaka witnessed the largest number of dengue cases. The fatality rate was also highest ever then. On the other hand, the government agencies responsible for dealing with the viral disease had looked unprepared almost till the end of the year. While the health ministry tasked with handling dengue cases washed its hands of the matter just after saying that it issued warning of the spread of the virus, the two city corporations lacked effective medicines to stop the spread of the mosquitoes. More unfortunately, both the quarters were seen blaming each other for the epidemic. Against the backdrop, people of all walks of life have reason to become wary of a resurgence of dengue menace this year. Monsoon that spans between May and October is deemed breeding period of Aedes that is responsible for spreading the virus that causes dengue. This year, however, monsoon appears to be prolonged a bit. Hence, the danger from dengue is yet to be over. Aedes usually lays and hatches eggs on transparent surface water. Hence, experts give emphasis not only on spraying larvicide but also destroying breeding grounds of the mosquitoes. Against this backdrop, there should be a concerted effort from the government authorities responsible for dealing with public health issues and citizens to successfully combat the disease. The government authorities need to come forward as they are mandated and have the capacity to take a holistic approach to protect public health. Citizens need to extend active cooperation to the government authorities as they are responsible for keeping their houses and backyards, the possible habitats of the deadly mosquitoes, clean. The dengue threat comes at a time when COVID-19 still remains a growing threat to public health not only in Dhaka but all over the country. If allowed to turn epidemic, along with the ongoing corona pandemic, it will cause a huge loss of life and livelihood the nation lacks the ability to stand with. Hence, there is no room for any laxity from any quarters, be it the government agency or a citizen, in dealing with the issue.

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