Deadly dengue reaches epidemic proportion in SL

By Susitha Fernando

Colombo, May 18 (IANS): Deadly dengue disease has reached to an epidemic proportion in Sri Lanka with 22 deaths and more than 34,500 cases recorded so far for the year 2023. However medical experts have warned that with the monsoon rains, the worst is yet to come.

National Dengue Control Programme announced so far that 34,511 dengue cases with 22 deaths were reported across the island nation with highest number 17,049 reporting from the western province. With 7,725 cases, Colombo district has recorded the second highest after Gampaha district in the western province which has recorded the highest 7,797 among 25 districts.

Medical experts warn that the spread of dengue having connection to monsoon rains in Sri Lanka, the worst is yet to experience with the majority cases are traditionally recorded during June and July, the summer monsoon.

Nalin Ariyaratne, the Director of the National Dengue Control Unit, said that there is an increase of nearly 2,000 dengue cases from the first quarter of last year to the present, extending up to 2023.

He has expressed concern over the possibility of surpassing last year's record of 11,000 cases reported in June and July.

Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe has instructed all government offices to join the fight against the spread of dengue and had ordered police and the military to join the battle.

The security forces that have been empowered to enter private premises without permission had been deployed to inspect dengue mosquito breeding places in houses, schools and other public and private places. The owners of premises with mosquito breeding places are charged under the law.

The National Dengue Control Programme has identified 59 Medical Officer of Health (MoH)

divisions across the island as "dengue High-Risk Zones" and the Health Ministry has declared every Friday as a day to fight dengue by clearing breeding grounds for mosquitoes.



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