Sri Lanka records 200 dengue deaths this year, blames garbage pile-up for outbreak

Rotting garbage has been piling up in many parts of the capital since the country's main rubbish tip collapsed in April, crushing dozens of homes and killing 32 people.

AFP June 26, 2017 20:13:30 IST
Sri Lanka records 200 dengue deaths this year, blames garbage pile-up for outbreak

Colombo: Sri Lanka has suffered a record 200 deaths from dengue fever this year, the health minister said on Monday, blaming a garbage disposal crisis in Colombo.

Rotting garbage has been piling up in many parts of the capital since the country's main rubbish tip collapsed in April, crushing dozens of homes and killing 32 people.

Sri Lanka records 200 dengue deaths this year blames garbage pileup for outbreak

An excavator seen on top of the garbage mountain that collapsed after being set on fire in Colombo, Sri Lanka in April 2017. Getty Images

With nowhere to take the trash, municipal collection has drastically slowed and led to huge piles on the streets which authorities say are encouraging mosquito-breeding.

"The situation could get worse if we don't tackle the garbage problem quickly," health minister Rajitha Senaratne told AFP as official figures showed 210 people had died from dengue so far this year - well over double the figure for the whole of 2016.

"It is not something my ministry can do alone but we need a collective effort."

The number of infected people in the first six months of this year was nearly 70,000 compared to about 55,000 cases for the whole of last year, official figures showed.

Military spokesman Roshan Seneviratne said troops had been deployed to help tackle the crisis, while police said they had prosecuted 454 people for illegally dumping garbage.

Stagnant water left behind after last month's flooding was also seen as contributing to the spread of dengue, a tropical disease spread by mosquitoes.

Updated Date:

also read

Sri Lanka Cricket announces USD 100,000 cash reward to team for T20I series win over India
First Cricket News

Sri Lanka Cricket announces USD 100,000 cash reward to team for T20I series win over India

Sri Lanka won the three-match series against a severely depleted Indian team 2-1 on Thursday night.

India vs Sri Lanka: We decided to stay on and play despite COVID-19 making the situation difficult, says Dhawan
First Cricket News

India vs Sri Lanka: We decided to stay on and play despite COVID-19 making the situation difficult, says Dhawan

Shikhar Dhawan indicated that there was an option of not playing the T20 International series after losing nine players to COVID-19 related isolation.

India vs Sri Lanka: Enjoyed experience of coaching senior team, not thinking about doing it full-time, says Dravid
First Cricket News

India vs Sri Lanka: Enjoyed experience of coaching senior team, not thinking about doing it full-time, says Dravid

The Sri Lankan tour was Dravid's first assignment as the head coach of the India senior team.