According to Chennai Corporation sources, three-year-old S Aadhira, a resident of KK Nagar near Adambakkam in Alandur zone, was admitted to a private hospital in Nungambakkam a few days ago due to severe fever. "Due to the COVID-19 situation, the girl's samples were tested for COVID before testing for dengue," a source said.
With the death of the girl on Tuesday evening, a Chennai Corporation senior official said that it's the first dengue death in the city this year. The girl's father, Subramaniam, was an employee in a luxury hotel on Anna Salai and is currently out of work due to the pandemic.
"We have decided to run another test on the girl's samples to confirm dengue infection. We are yet to come to a conclusion. At the same time, our officials in the zone have sanitised the area around the child's house and door-to-door breeding checkings are being done to prevent further spread," the official said.
On the other hand, a health official attached to the zone said that the girl did not die only because of the dengue. "She had other complications, too."
It may be noted that the period between summer and northeast monsoon in the city is tiring time for the civic officials, as the dengue spread would attain peak during this period every year.
However, due to the unprece dented COVID-19 struggle, the civic body could not start dengue prevention measures on time. Moreover, domestic breeding checkers (DBC workers) were employed as door-to-door survey workers for COVID-19 control.
"There are around 3,500 DBC workers in the city and they have already started usual breeding control work. A few days ago, a meeting was held in the Ripon Buildings, in which Chennai Corporation Commissioner G Prakash instructed us to start focussing on dengue prevention measures also," the senior official said. Also, the official requested city residents to remove unwanted items, in which the dengue mosquitoes breed, around the house and asked to avoid storing water in open.