PU, the new dengue breeding ground | Pakistan Today

PU, the new dengue breeding ground

LAHORE: The Punjab University (PU) administration has started watering all big and small lawns and grounds within the university premises, turning them into breeding grounds for the deadly dengue mosquito, Pakistan Today has learnt.
According to PU sources, the drive was started on Tuesday from the lawns in front of the Political Science and History departments and would cover all small and big lawns and grounds of the varsity during the Eid holidays. Even the students sitting in the lawn in front of the History Department “disapproved” the move.
“It [dengue] is definitely a genuine threat as a lot of people in Lahore have already been affected by the disease. It is a scientific fact that the dengue mosquito breeds in standing water.
We have not talked to anyone in the faculty, as the watering has just recently started, but it should be stopped nonetheless,” a female student from the Statistics Department said.
The move has also put a large number of people living in adjoining areas of the PU at a risk of catching the deadly dengue virus. Nearly 20 housing societies including Faisal Town, Garden Town, Mustafa Town, PCSIR Society, Tech Society, Canal View Society and Johar Town, would be directly affected by the fresh water deadly mosquito.
The decision also comes at a time when the Punjab government was already making hectic efforts for combating the disease.
The provincial government had issued special directions to the Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) to check the incidence of dengue mosquitoes in parks, as many park visitors were affected by the deadly disease during morning and evening walks.
Lakes in a private golf club near the Dharampura underpass were identified as a breeding ground for the dengue mosquito and MPA Mohsin Latif held meetings with the club administration to check the disease. Medical experts told Pakistan Today that dengue is a fresh water mosquito and its breeding season has not finished yet.
Mayo Hospital Microbiology Head Dr Tayyaba said that the dengue mosquito still breeds in the current season, as the outdoor temperature increases due to sunlight.
“Fresh, standing water is a perfect breeding ground for the dengue mosquito and is a big risk for the entire locality,” she added. Pakistan Medical Society Chairman Dr Masood Akhter said that watering the PU grounds situated in the middle of the city had “definitely” put the densely-populated housing societies in a dangerous situation.
He said that the government and the medical community have stated during so many awareness campaigns that dengue is a fresh water mosquito and breeds in standing water.
The move should be stopped otherwise the situation might get “out of control”, as one dengue mosquito laid 250 to 300 eggs, which all become adult mosquitoes afterwards.
PU Public Relations Director Khawaja Tahir said that the watering drive was started to save the plants, as the university would remain closed for a week. To a question, Tahir said that he would talk to the VC and halt the entire move, which puts the population at a risk.
Punjab Health Parliamentary Secretary Saeed Elahi said that the breeding of the dengue mosquito was on the decline due to seasonal change, but he would talk to the PU VC to stop the watering drive to save people from any possible danger.

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