Meet Delhi’s domestic breeding checkers. Every year, they climb atop water tanks and containers and inspect narrow and damp corners in the city.
They check whether their surroundings are conducive for mosquito breeding, slap fines if violations are observed and spray insecticides to keep off the buzzing intruders.
This year, however, as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, data from the municipal corporations show that such screening and preventive measures is lagging compared to previous years.
The domestic breeding checkers are unable to go door to door due to constraints created by the pandemic. This might result in an outbreak of vector-borne diseases, say experts.
Domestic breeding checkers had been put in place in the city for household surveys after an outbreak of dengue in 1996 when up to 10,000 people were infected and nearly 400 people died.
The number of houses sprayed with insecticides has dropped by about 30% to 2.26 lakh this year. And the number of houses visited this year dropped by about 56% compared to last year.
Checkers have visited only 62 lakh houses till June 20. The number of houses found conducive for mosquito breeding was a lot fewer this year at 8,312.