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AP Photo/Altaf Qadri
Protecting against Aedes aegypti too?
DEADLY STING

Politics aside, the Indian president’s estate is buzzing with something else: dengue mosquitos

By Manu Balachandran

The dengue season in India’s capital city is on.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito, which spreads the deadly fever, has already found some high-profile city spots to breed. Among others, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has identified the Indian president’s colossal estate as one such hub.

Spread across 320 acres, the Rashtrapati Bhavan houses the president of India and his office. Since January, the NDMC has issued over 52 notices to the Rashtrapati Bhavan over mosquito-breeding in several areas across the estate.

“Most of these (notices) have been issued to quarters within the premises where we found stagnant water that could breed mosquitos,” an NDMC spokesperson said.

Last year too, the NDMC had issued over 125 notices to the president’s estate.

The authority has also issued notices to over 3,000 premises within New Delhi. These include hospitals, such as the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), Safdarjung Hospital and Lady Hardinge Medical College, and five-star hotels such as the Ashoka and Taj Mansingh.

New Delhi—home to over 16 million people—often finds itself in the grips of the deadly dengue soon after the rainy season begins in July. In 2015, over 15,000 such cases were reported, with 60 people dying due to complications from the mosquito-borne disease.

This year, 277 cases have been reported—109 in the first few weeks of August alone. The situation is expected to worsen over the next two months.