One out of three houses in Cinnamon Gardens and every one out of eight in Kollupitiya were found to have mosquito breeding places which facilitated the spread of deadly diseases like dengue, Colombo Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam told the Daily News yesterday.
In a raid conducted by 260 Public Health Department officers and 50 schoolchildren on May 17 in Cinnamon Gardens and Kollupitiya, 144 houses out of the 756 houses raided had mosquito breeding places in their premises, he said. The raid had been conducted in many areas of Cinnamon Gardens and Kollupitiya, including Rosmead place, Barnes Place, Horton Place, Gregory`s Road and Wijerama Mawatha.
`We have issued notice under the mosquito borne disease regulations to 63 houses to clear the breeding places within a week, and we will re-visit them to check. If the sites are not cleared by then we will take immediate legal action against them,` Dr. Kariyawasam added.
He pointed out that out of those 63 houses 40 were located in the Cinnamon Gardens area and among the raided houses was one belonging to a very prominent personality
Twenty one out of the 35 dengue cases reported within Colombo city during this month were reported from the Cinnamon Gardens and Kollupitiya areas which was the reason to carry out such a large scale raid in these areas, he said.
According to Dr. Kariyawasam all the houses are palatial belonging to the upper class society. Observing that only the gardens of the houses were investigated, he added that possible breeding places within houses could have been left unnoticed and that it was the residents` responsibility to take notice of them and destroy any such possible breeding sites.
`Ponds, bird baths and back yards where water had accumulated accounted for most breeding places,` the doctor added.
The doctor pointed out that there had been a 80 percent increase of dengue cases reported so far this year in comparison with last year.
`Three hundred cases have been reported this year so far from Colombo City itself, where as the total number for last year was only 171,` he said.
The disease seems to show a rise every other year, and it might increase greatly within this year if the public do not take the necessary action to keep their premises clean and free of mosquito breeding sites.