With two locals already having succumbed to dengue in the past month, the report of three more residents of Malvani, Malad (West) testing positive for the deadly disease has sent alarm bells ringing yet again.
Though the BMC claims to have fogged the area after the death of Tariq and Tasneem Jafri earlier this month, residents are of the opinion that the civic body’s methods aren’t foolproof.
The two most recent victims — Khatija Shaikh (38) and Naeem Shaikh (15) — a mother and her son, are being treated at Bhagwati hospital. One of their neighbours Rashid Qureshi (28), who also tested positive for dengue, was discharged from a private hospital in Malad just three days ago. Rashid underwent treatment in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for almost three days.
Rashid, a tailor by profession, said, “I was admitted to the hospital on December 14, when I started running extremely high temperatures. I was kept in the ICU for almost three days and later transferred to a general ward for two days, following which I was discharged. The main issue is that the BMC does not care about us, the residents of the area. My area was fogged on Friday after I was discharged from the hospital. There is so much dirt and garbage around the building. No clean-up vans come here for days together.”
Khatija said, “My son got high fever on December 16 and later I also started shivering and running high temperatures. Both of us were feeling weak and were taken to the hospital, where we tested positive for dengue. We are still on medication and have been asked to rest, as we haven’t completely recovered. The problem is that the BMC doesn’t understand the importance of fogging and other necessary preventive measures, even after the two recent deaths. They still aren’t considering this a serious issue.”
BMC officials also claimed that they have been creating awareness about the measures that residents can adopt in their own homes, as the mosquitoes breed in stagnant water in domestic areas. Residents of Malwani area, however, claim that no such instructions have been provided to them.
Devendrakumar Sao Jain, officer of P north ward, said, “The area is being fogged on a regular basis. Almost every morning the pest control staff visits the area and does its job. It is untrue that no fogging is being done there.”
It is ironic that the BMC insists that it is fogging pockets of the city as a preventative measure for dengue, considering the fact that officers had earlier insisted that fogging is ineffective in preventing the breeding of mosquitoes that cause dengue.