In order to tackle the dengue epidemic which claimed close to 40 lives this year in Delhi, the Aam Aadmi Party government is planning to work on a Chinese proposal in which genetically modified mosquitoes will be used to counter female breeding mosquitoes. These mosquitoes would be mated with dengue-causing female members of the same species to "root out" the threat of the vector-borne disease.
A chart showing dengue cases in Delhi (till October 9) | Source: PTI
A team of Delhi Dialogue Commission (DDC), headed by its vice-chairman Ashish Khetan, is heading to southern China's Guangzhou province next month to study the experiment.
"There has been nearly 90 per cent decrease in the number of dengue carrier mosquitoes as per the Chinese experience. Those scientists have sent us a very detailed proposal to implement the same in Delhi. We will decide our next course of action after all these deliberations, " Khetan said.
People suffering from fever getting their blood test done for dengue at a clinic run by government hospital in New Delhi | Source: PTI
The experiment involves turning male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes sterile and mating them with female Aedes mosquitoes to prevent breeding, and subsequently the spread of dengue.
"CM has ordered the commission to take all steps to root out dengue. We are talking to scientists across the world regarding various such experimentations so that dengue does not occur next year," Khetan added.
(With inputs from PTI)
Feature image source: Wikipedia