LAHORE – The provincial government has given a task to Environment Protection Department to lead the anti-dengue drive across the province especially in the provincial capital in collaboration with the health department on the grounds of quality oriented research for eliminating the menace of dengue from the country, insiders informed TheNation.

Initially, the high ranked officers of the department personally visited different areas of the City particularly such vicinities, which were under the severe attack of dengue epidemic last year. They in collaboration with the health officials monitored the fogging and insecticide spray process in these localities and directed the officials concerned to take stern action against the citizens including shopkeepers as well as the residents on account of negligent attitude in this regard because they were responsible for growth of dengue mosquitoes.

The government also gave task to experts, researchers and scientists of EPD to conduct research for killing dengue mosquitoes, controlling their growth and eradicating larvae with identifying the environmental factors in the growth of dengue mosquitoes.

Moreover, the concerned sections of government issued these directions to the EPD authorities for evolving medium and long term policy for controlling dengue and other viral diseases in future, the sources added. They further said government was showing deep concern regarding such a serious issue in the province, which claimed over 350 lives last year and was a constant threat for the other citizens.

The larvae was identified at different sites of the City in March 2011 as well and the concerned sections of EPD informed the concerned quarters about the presence of larvae so that they could crush the eggs of such dangerous mosquito by fumigating chemicals but unfortunately, they ignored and negligence on part of the authorities concerned, gave the opportunity to the larvae to grow and kill the citizens, they added.

Consequently, the dengue mosquito grew and started hunting the citizens, resulting in casualties of the citizens including old aged men and women and youngsters in general and the innocent children in particular.

Initially, the experts expressed their apprehensions that the virus travelled and landed in the provincial capital in shape of larvae from some other country through different sources because the mosquito, carrying dengue virus in fact was not a local mosquito.

However, there was a slight chance that some dengue mosquitoes landed in the City directly and grew up fast on finding the environment favourable for their breeding and growth, they further said.

The environment scientists identified that larvae could survive from one month to one year on clean stagnant water and even on the dry surface as compared to the mosquito which could survive only one week to three weeks approximately in such an environment as of the City, they added.

They said it was compulsory for the authorities concerned including Health Department, Solid Waste Management, Water and Sanitation Agency, Parks and Horticulture Authority, Environment Protection Department as well as the citizens to keep clean their surroundings.

However, research was continuing from last year in EPD for combating the epidemic and eradicating dengue virus. In this regard, the officials of the department were not only participating in the awareness campaign but were also holding daily meetings with the experts for getting up dated information through presentations about the research work, they concluded.