Drones and artificial intelligence-based platforms are being used by authorities as part of their sweeping plan to tackle dengue this year with targeted fumigation of monuments, hotels and markets in Delhi, where the G20 summit will be held in September.
“Our plan is to make the city cleaner, safer and more vibrant,” said a senior official at the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), urging visiting delegates from the influential bloc to return with a wonderful experience.
India assumed the one-year presidency of the G20 on December 1st. More than 200 meetings of the G20 will be held in 55 locations across the country and the summit will be held here in September.
In a statement on Saturday, the MCD said it had “envisioned a comprehensive and proactive plan to prevent dengue this year, with particular focus on G-20 gathering places, monuments, hotels, malls, famous markets and other gathering places of delegates.” “.
In this comprehensive plan, one of the AI-based platforms, i.e. unmanned aerial vehicles or drone-based vector surveillance and simultaneous anti-larvae spraying activities, will be carried out on large drains to prevent mosquito larvae from reproducing, it said.
Larvivorous fish are released into water bodies to prevent mosquito larvae from reproducing by biological control methods. Fogging will be carried out on demand in accordance with NCVBDCP guidelines, while respecting NGT orders in an environmentally friendly manner, the statement said. The department will ensure the use of insecticides alternately to avoid resistance in mosquitoes and larvae. MCD will pay special attention to meeting places, hotels, monuments, tourist attractions, shopping malls and famous markets by involving stakeholders to make the area breed-free, it said. To increase public participation, officials will regularly interact with community charities, religious leaders and market organizations. Cross-departmental coordination meetings are also organized to raise awareness.
Other multitasking staff will ensure door-to-door visits under the advance program to detect, destroy and raise public awareness of the breed, it said.
Deputy health officials will identify at-risk colonies and hotspots based on vector indices and cases reported for targeted action in previous years, officials said. The work of the domestic breed control staff is directly supervised by the responsible circle and the work register is randomly cross-checked by entomologists, AMO, epidemiologists and DHOs. If a high breeding index is reported from any area, the zone’s entomologist will help control the vector population, it said. The entomology laboratory is commissioned and reinforced to carry out random insecticidal susceptibility tests. The entomological surveillance report of the zonal entomological teams will be analyzed by the entomologist (headquarters) and the weekly report will be sent to all concerned authorities, it said. The zonal entomologists from all zones will send live mosquito samples to the NIMR for detection of dengue and chikungunya virus, the statement said. Municipal Commissioner Gyanesh Bharti said the dengue action plan was drawn up with the whole city in mind and the G-20 summit areas would pay particular attention to it.
This year, MCD would ensure a higher success rate through more intensive control measures. We will also benefit from this in the years to come, he added. Various iconic monuments, whether centrally protected or not, will be in the spotlight, and meetings or excursion activities are planned to be held at such heritage sites as part of G20 events.
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