Dengue Menace

High Court institutes judicial probe into dengue menace

M Moneruzzaman    | Published: 23:32, Nov 12,2019 | Updated: 00:20, Nov 13,2019


The High Court Division on Tuesday constituted a two-member judicial inquiry committee headed by the Dhaka district judge to identify the reasons of the failure of the two Dhaka city corporations to prevent dengue menace this year.

The committee was also asked to identify the people responsible for the lapses of the Dhaka South City Corporation and Dhaka North City Corporation and recommend future course of action to prevent outbreak of dengue and chikungunya.

The court asked the committee, which includes a representative from the ministry of local government, rural development and co-operatives not below the rank of joint secretary, to submit its report to the court by January 15, 2020.

The court said that the committee will be at liberty to take expert evidence and assistance from ICDDR,B, plant protection wing at the Department of Agriculture Extension, and Institute of Public Health as well as from the professors or researchers of Dhaka University, Jahangirnagar University and other relevant experts to ascertain the effectiveness of the insecticides and larvicides used by the city corporations and recommend future programmes.

The bench of Justice Tariq ul Hakim and Justice Md Iqbal Kabir passed the order expressing disappointment over the steps taken by the government and the two city corporations to prevent dengue and chikungunya.

The Directorate General of Health Services on the day submitted a report to the court stating that the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research so far received reports of 251 suspected dengue deaths and confirmed that 112 of the deaths were caused by dengue.

According to New Age report published on Tuesday, that this year’s dengue outbreak in Bangladesh was unprecedented with at least 97,929 dengue patients getting hospitalised so far.

The report said that hospitalisation slowed down since September, yet at least 16,856 dengue patients were hospitalised in September and 8,143 in October. At least 1,833 dengue patients were hospitalised in the first 11 days of November so far.

Initially, dengue infections remained confined to the capital, as had been the case since the first infection was reported in Bangladesh in 2000.

This year dengue infection spread outside the capital in the fourth week of July.

Within a week, dengue infection spread across the whole country and the severity in the outlying districts exceeded that of the capital.

In July the bench issued a ruling suo moto asking the two mayors of the capital and the government to take steps in 24 hours to eradicate and destroy aedes mosquitos and take preventive measures to stop spreading of diseases like dengue and chikungunya.

The bench in the same ruling asked the respondents to explain in a week their failure to prevent aedes mosquito breeding and to stop the spread of dengue, chikungunya infections across the capital.

The court in the same ruling also asked the respondents to explain why steps would not be taken against responsible persons for their failure to take effective measures to prevent the spread of the deadly diseases.

Sayed Ahmed Raza appeared for Dhaka South City Corporation, Toufiq Inam Tipu for Dhaka North City Corporation and deputy attorney general Kazi Mynul Hasan appeared for the government.

Want stories like this in your inbox?

Sign up to exclusive daily email