Sri Lanka is suffering its worst-ever dengue outbreak, with the mosquito-borne virus killing 225 people and infecting more than 76,000 this year. Alarmed by the magnitude of the crisis, the government deployed 400 soldiers and police officers on Tuesday to clear away rotting garbage, stagnant water pools and other potential mosquito-breeding grounds.The number of infections nationwide is already 38 per cent higher than last year, when 55,150 people were diagnosed with dengue and 97 died, according to the Health Ministry. The highest number of cases is in the region around the main city of Colombo, though cases were being reported across the tropical island nation.
In Colombo alone, 25 teams of soldiers, police officers and public health inspectors were knocking on doors at people’s homes, advising them to clear clogged drains and empty outdoor pots that might have filled with rainwater. Health officials were also fumigating public spaces.