Mosquito menace, virus grab centre stage at Kochi Corporation Council meeting

Power spray fogging to be carried out in city for a month from January 10

The fight against the surging COVID-19 cases and the worsening mosquito menace held centre stage at the council meeting of the Kochi Corporation on Thursday.

Councillors demanded heightened alert against the pandemic in the city in view of the number of daily cases surging past 1,000 across the State. A decision was also taken to intensify mosquito eradication measures, as councillors complained of the proliferation of mosquitoes.

Opposition leader Antony Kureethara called for precautionary measures anticipating the potential challenge posed by the pandemic. Other councillors too backed him.

The council called for clarity on booster doses. The councillors also pointed to hurdles faced by dependants of pandemic victims in securing death certificates.

Mayor M. Anilkumar said an emergency meeting of the health standing committee to be attended by the District Medical Officer and the COVID nodal officer would be held soon.

He added that the Corporation was receiving a flurry of enquiries about vaccination of children from various schools. Government schools are said to have priority in vaccination drives at schools, and it will be clarified, Mr. Anilkumar said.

He pointed out that mosquito menace could be properly dealt with only by constructing new sewage treatment plants (STPs). He reminded the council how the north Indian company entrusted by Cochin Smart Mission Limited (CSML) for the construction of an STP at Fort Kochi had backed out of the project.

Mr. Anilkumar said he was in favour of new STPs. The Kerala Water Authority (KWA) will be asked to enhance the capacity of the existing STPs and set up new state-of-the-art ones. He added that funds would also be sought from the State government for the purpose.

Health standing committee chairman T.K. Ashraf said power spray fogging using eight vehicles would be carried out in the city for a month from January 10. Five vehicles will be deployed in the eastern areas and three in the western areas.

Normal fogging will be held between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. followed by power spray fogging between 7.30 a.m. and 12.30 p.m. Fogging will held again from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Five new power sprayers and four fogging machines will be purchased for the purpose. Besides, hand-spraying will be held in 21 health circles with the help of the existing staff.

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