Dengue death statistics withheld by Health Ministry
The number of dengue cases has reached a staggering 25,000 this year despite measures taken by health authorities to control this deadly mosquito-borne disease.
According to data released by the Health Ministry’s Epidemiology Unit the number of cases stands at 25,679. However, the number of deaths has not been released by the Epidemiology Unit since June this year. The last update was 75 deaths.
Colombo still remains the deadly district with 6,299 cases to date, followed by Gampaha with 4,556 cases and Kalutara with 1,643 cases. More cases are reported in Kandy and Kurungala as well.
Dr. Ranjith Batuwanthudawe, director of National Dengue Control Unit of the Health Ministry said “there was a slight decrease in the number of cases reported during the past two months because of the prevailing drought, but with scattered rains reported island-wide, there would be a rise in numbers of this deadly mosquito”. He added the ministry would continue with vector control programmes.
Dr. Batuwanthudawe said since the dengue mosquito was a ‘container breeder’, it was likely the vector would breed faster in the rainy season in water collected in empty containers on road sides and gardens.
Meanwhile Army spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasuriya said, as requested by the Health Ministry, military personnel would continue cleaning and clearing state lands which could become breeding grounds for the mosquito.
“Presently a project is implemented in the Western Province in which the last Friday of every month is declared ‘Dengue Day’ and cleaning of state lands takes place.
This project will be expanded to other high-risk districts as well,” he added.Discussions were also held on the feasibility of aerial spraying as a means of eradicating the Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) bacteria (dengue) within the Colombo city limits by the end of this month.
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