Editors criticize DNCC for failing to prevent the worst dengue outbreak in Bangladesh’s history
The Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) has decided to keep using the existing ineffective pesticides in its stock to fight Aedes mosquitoes—carrier of the deadly dengue virus.
However, the High Court on Thursday had asked chief health officers of both city corporations to import effective insecticides by Tuesday, as the spread of dengue has not been contained using the existing ones.
DNCC Mayor Atiqul Islam on Monday also admitted that the insecticide did not work. at a meeting with editors of newspapers, online news portals and television media at Gulshan Club.
He said: “Only two companies can import the insecticides, and neither of these are effective. I have already blacklisted one company and will break the syndicate of insecticide importers.
“We have already decided upon the insecticides and their suppliers but we are not sure when we able to import them,” he added.
Atiqul further said that five teams of executive magistrates will conduct continuous drives in hospitals and will take strict action if anyone charges extra money from dengue patients.
The teams will also conduct drives in buildings and offices and will take action against owners of building owners if they find mosquito lava breeding grounds.
Admitting his failure, the DNCC mayor said: “Though we tried our best, we could not satisfy the people.”
Editors criticize DNCC
Editors present at the event criticized DNCC authorities for not taking preventive action against Aedes mosquitoes.
Editor-in-Chief of GTV Syed Ishtiaque Reza alleged that the Bangladeshi media started publishing and broadcasting news two or three months before the dengue outbreak. However, the DNCC and DSCC authorities did not pay any heed to the warnings, he said.
“If authorities paid attention and took necessary action, they could have prevented the outbreak,” said Reza.
Dhaka Tribune Editor Zafar Sobhan said: “Even if the authorities had paid more attention at the outbreak of the crisis two or three months ago, it would not have been sufficient. Controlling mosquitoes needs to be a 365-day effort.”
Bonikbarta Editor Dewan Hanif said that city corporations have totally failed to control the dengue outbreak and are responsible for the current scenario.
“City corporation mayors should apologize to the residents for their failure.”
Daily Observer Editor Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury criticized authorities saying mayors should apologize instead of defending their mistakes.
Worst dengue outbreak in Bangladesh’s history
In the worst dengue outbreak in the country’s history, Bangladesh has seen a total of 11,654 dengue cases nationwide between January 1 and July 28 this year, according to data provided by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
Of them, 824 were found infected by the mosquito-borne viral disease and hospitalized between Saturday and yesterday alone.
Government data confirms the death of eight people only between January 1 and July 28 this year, although unofficial death toll figures stand at a minimum of 33.
At least 9,510 patients were admitted to hospitals in the first 28 days of July, while four patients died this month, according to the latest DGHS control room data.
DGHS data shows that the number of people diagnosed with dengue is on the rise outside Dhaka as well. Around 611 cases have been reported so far in various districts of six divisions. Of them, 282 are currently undergoing treatment at hospitals.