Embassies refuse mosquito breeding inspection by officials

Embassies refuse mosquito breeding inspection by officials

Even as the national capital is fighting a serious dengue outbreak, over 35 embassies in the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) area have refused civic officials to check their premises for mosquito breeding over the past few weeks. 

However, the embassies are not bound by the law to allow the officials check  breeding.
The council is now issuing fresh advisories to over 50 embassies in its jurisdiction seeking permission to enter their premises to check breeding of mosquitoes. Following this, the council will decide if fogging is required on the premises.

Helpless council
In a review meeting with the Union health ministry on Wednesday, the council expressed its helplessness to monitor the situation in the embassies after the majority of the embassies denied them permission.

The Capital has seen 1,832 fresh dengue cases since last Saturday, according to data released by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC). Twenty-seven dengue cases were reported in the NDMC area. The total number of dengue cases this season has almost touched 9,500, according to the SDMC.

“The council decided to write to all the embassies requesting them to allow officials on the premises after a high-level meeting with Union health ministry officials on Wednesday. The advisories will be issued on Friday. The letter explains the Capital is seeing a surge in dengue cases and the embassies’ participation in the drive will help us check the number of dengue cases. It also mentions the problems officials have been facing when they visit the embassies and are not allowed in,” said a senior official, public health department, NDMC.

The repeated requests come at a time when the council has found heavy breeding of mosquitoes in at least 12 embassies.  “The chances are likely that the majority embassies will have heavy breeding. This is why we are being pro-active to check the premises,” said the official.

Till now, 17 embassies have allowed the council officials on their premises. On Thursday, the council’s was denied entry at six embassies, of those of Nigeria, Korea, New Zealand, the Philippines, Poland and Turkey.

“A majority of the embassies say they have individual agencies which carry out pest control by private agencies on their premises. We have repeatedly tried to reason out that it is necessary that they allow the civic body to carry out intensive checks,” said a surveillance worker of the public health team.

The embassies that have allowed the NDMC on their premises include Singapore, Bhutan, Ethiopia, Ghana, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Zimbabwe and Mauritius, among a few others.
 

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