Even before the onset of the monsoon, in the first five days of June, Mumbai had recorded 57 cases of malaria. Most of these cases are reported in wards G South (Elphinstone) and E (Byculla).
Suspecting a further increase in mosquito-borne diseases with the arrival of the monsoon in the city on Saturday, BMC asked residents to avoid self-medication. “As malaria cases increase, every precaution must be taken to prevent mosquito breeding. Use mosquito nets and window drapes,” added the BMC advisory published earlier this week.
Up to June 5 this year, Mumbai had reported 950 cases of malaria and 94 cases of dengue fever. No related deaths have been reported. The BMC’s initial investigation shows that the cases are being reported both in residential areas and on construction sites.
As malaria and Covid-19 have similar symptoms, doctors have warned patients to avoid delaying treatment if one has a history of fever, headache, rash, muscle pain and joints, vomiting and diarrhea.
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BMC Chief Health Officer Dr Mangala Gomare said: “We are investigating all malaria cases individually to find out the source of the disease. Due to the fear of Covid-19, many people with symptoms such as fever and body aches are approaching hospitals more quickly, which helps in prompt diagnosis and treatment.
Apart from malaria, Mumbai recorded 10 dengue fever cases in the first five days of June. During the same period, 78 cases of vector-borne gastro were reported in E, H West (Khar) and H East (Bandra) wards.
All hospitals are preparing to receive patients suffering from monsoon-related illnesses. “We have kept separate beds ready to treat patients. Last year, we had seen a large number of malaria cases, which exceeded the number of patients in the previous year,” said Dr Mohan Joshi, Dean of Sion Hospital.