Chikungunya Deaths In The Capital City: AAP Under Attack

The capital city is under attack. Chikungunya and Dengue deaths are on the rise and the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal led AAP government has come under severe opposition attack. As the number of deaths due to chikungunya rose to three on Tuesday, the opposition parties Congress and the BJP, are attacking the Kejriwal government for doing so little to prevent it.

After that, two more people died of chikungunya on Tuesday, taking the toll from the mosquito-borne disease to three to more. The former Chief Minister of Delhi, Sheila Dikshit commented that if the government fails to fulfill its responsibilities and duties, then the city will always face problems like these. She also added that there was no fumigation seen done in the city. The BJP meanwhile questioned the absence of Kejriwal and his top ministers from the national capital during a crisis like this one. According to BJP leader Sambit Patra, “ Arvind Kejriwal who is the chief minister refuses to answer pertinent questions regarding the health of the national capital.” Also added that Centre is ready to provide any assistance the state needs.

Union health minister JP Nadda said,“The Centre is also reviewing the situation on a day-to-day basis and a meeting has been called on Wednesday morning which I'll be reviewing myself”. He added that the Centre has sent 11 advisories since January to the state government to take precautionary measures in chikungunya cases and that the ministry will be working in co-ordination with the states. He has also urged residents to increase their liquid intake and to not panic. In addition, he advised them to get treated the minute they see any symptoms.

The viral disease is usually non-fatal but hospitals say they are getting many patients with severe manifestation of the illness, including brain infections. The rapid spread, massive surge in all things mosquito-borne is due to :-

  1. Heavy Breeding - Main reason for the outbreak is that prolonged heavy rains have led to higher mosquito-breeding and rapid spread of the diseases.
  2. Unplanned Construction - Maximum construction has resulted in more areas where water lies stagnant.Civic agencies have failed to monitor or control this.
  3. Possible Virus Mutation - Scientists feel the chikungunya virus may have mutated, resulting in non-typical symptoms and more cases.

Municipal corporations, in Delhi the MCD and NDMC in particular, failed to check breeding, run adequate fumigation drives or identify hot spots for intensive fogging. They allowed rampant construction, did not de-silt drains, and awareness campaigns were too little too late. Delhi CM Kejriwal and health minister Satyendra Jain missing in action, no sustained awareness campaign, big drains under PWD weren't cleaned, bad roads led to waterlogging, hospitals have struggled to cope with patient load. The Centre had had no action plan or early warning system in place. It held meetings with civic agencies but there was no follow-up. We hope the city will soon evade itself from the terror of the disease, but everyone keep an eye open and keep safe.