Rising dengue cases: Karnataka govt. issues directive to gram panchayats to implement protocols

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Leader of Opposition R. Ashok visited some patients in Jayanagar General Hospital in Bengaluru following a rise in dengue cases, on July 7, 2024

Leader of Opposition R. Ashok visited some patients in Jayanagar General Hospital in Bengaluru following a rise in dengue cases, on July 7, 2024

Bengaluru: The Karnataka government on Monday issued a directive mandating all gram panchayats to implement protocols to manage dengue cases, with specific emphasis on ensuring regular cleaning of water storage tanks, open reservoirs, and public toilets to maintain sanitation standards.

Minister of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, Priyank Kharge advised gram panchayats to establish "Village Health, Sanitation and Nutrition Committees" to actively promote dengue control initiatives.

He also directed them to adopt precautionary measures promptly.

As per health department data, Karnataka has till last evening recorded 7,165 dengue positive cases since January this year, with areas coming under the city civic body, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), accounting for the largest at 1,988.

On Sunday, the State reported 159 fresh dengue infection cases, including 80 from BBMP areas.

In an effort to curb the spread of dengue in rural areas and effectively control dengue cases, several urgent measures have been outlined by the Minister, as per which the gram panchayats are instructed to: conduct weekly sanitation checks and ensure the proper cleaning of water storage tanks, open reservoirs, and public toilets to prevent water stagnation; and ensure swift and safe drainage of rainwater to prevent it from becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

And also maintaining cleanliness and hygiene in homes, shops, hotels, commercial complexes, public spaces, and vacant lands to prevent long-term water accumulation and ensure proper waste management practices, his office said in a release.

Kharge also stressed the importance of maintaining operational control valves in water supply systems to prevent water stagnation and control mosquito breeding.

"Gram panchayats are advised to strictly adhere to these guidelines to prevent the spread of dengue fever in rural areas. It is recommended to ensure existing wells and water supply systems are equipped with proper control valves to prevent mosquito breeding and ensure adequate water flow," the directive said.

To effectively manage dengue cases, it is imperative that gram panchayats conduct proper maintenance of wells and water supply systems to prevent water stagnation and minimise mosquito breeding, it was stated.

The Minister also emphasised the importance of raising awareness through health education programmes organised by gram panchayats, involving community health volunteers, women's self-help groups, and local educational institutions to educate residents on dengue control measures.

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