Government seeks to make India-Africa summit ‘dengue-proof’

New Delhi, Oct 15 (IANS) The pestilential little mosquito may become a ‘security’ threat for the Indian government that is in the middle of putting together one of the largest gatherings of international leaders here for the 3rd India Africa Forum Summit.

A high-level meeting is being convened by the union government to discuss methods to tackle the dengue threat which has led to the hospitalisation of thousands of people in the capital. Government agencies have confirmed 30 deaths while the unofficial figure is believed to be much higher.

Representatives from 52 of the 54 African countries would be here for the summit from October 26-29, of which about 40 are heads of state and government. Two monarchs are also among the participants. The last thing the Indian hosts would want is a high dignitary falling prey to the sting of the female aedes aegypti mosquito that causes dengue.

To ensure that nothing of that sort happens, the government has called a “high-level meeting” with Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party administration, official sources said.

“We have received a letter from the Cabinet Secretariat calling for a meeting tomorrow (Friday) to tackle dengue as the India-Africa summit is drawing near,” an official in the Delhi government said, declining to be named.

The year 2015 has been the deadliest for dengue in the capital in the past 19 years. Up to October 10, 30 persons have died and about 11,000 have been affected by the vector-borne disease, but mostly in the crowded and poorer areas of the capital.

The Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled civic agencies and the Aam Aadmi Party-controlled Delhi government have blamed each other for the dengue spread in the capital.

The visiting delegates from the 52 countries and the African Union plus other observers would be staying in super-luxury five-star hotels in the capital. However, the, authorities are concerned about how to make the cavernous Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium — the venue of the four-day conference where the heads of state and government would assemble on the final day, October 29 — mosquito-proof.

(Gaurav Sharma can be contacted at

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