Besides fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, Bangladesh is also grappling with the mosquito-borne viral infection dengue, which has claimed 54 lives in the South Asian country since January.
Out of 54 total deaths from dengue, 50 were in the capital Dhaka, according to a Directorate General of Health Services update on Thursday evening.
In the last 24 hours, dengue claimed one more life and infected 317 people, raising total infections to 13,007, said the update.
Two deaths were reported in the main port city of Chattogram, one in the southwestern city of Khulna, and another one in the northern city of Rajshahi.
Out of the total infections, 12,419 cases (95%) were reported in Dhaka.
“Amid the coronavirus tension, we are now facing dengue,” Samira Huda, a housewife in Dhaka’s Shantinagar area, told Anadolu Agency.
Many panicked people were seen cleaning their homes, surrounding areas, and rooftops to ward off the virus.
“We\re very scared now of dengue and trying our best to keep our houses clean,” said local Sagor Ahmed, urging the city to do its part.
“For many years, Dhaka has been a hotbed of dengue fever for various reasons like the inundation of rainwater, stagnant water in plastic buckets, flower pots, and overpopulation,” Dr. Atiar Rahman of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University told Anadolu Agency.
He urged the public to be vigilant about standing water anywhere in their houses and surrounding areas, advising people to regularly use mosquito repellent and mosquito nets while sleeping.
Rahman stressed the role of the city government in preventing the spread of mosquitoes.
“Very often the medicine sprayed by the city corporation is not enough. So monitoring at the field level should be increased,” he said.