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There will be less buzz of the onomatopoeic kind at the World Cup. The Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) has announced deployment of spray teams to wipe out mosquitoes at the city's two stadiums, one of which will host the opening ceremony, while the other stages six World Cup matches.
"Mosquitoes have been breeding alarmingly in recent months so we have taken special measures to kill mosquitoes in the stadiums and for three kilometres around them," health chief Brigadier General Nasir Uddin told AFP. "Our special teams headed by DCC officers have been spraying extensively in every open space, drain, pond and sewer to make sure no mosquito can breed. We want to ensure a mosquito-free World Cup for spectators." Areas near hotels used by teams and supporters would also be sprayed. Malaria is usually restricted to rural areas of Bangladesh, but dengue fever is common in towns.
After the World Cup opening ceremony in Dhaka on February 17, the tournament kicks off with Bangladesh taking on India in the city two days later. The World Cup is the biggest event that Bangladesh has hosted since its independence in 1971, and Dhaka and Chittagong are in a race to get squeaky-clean before the tournament begins.
Authorities have already evicted beggars off Chittagong’s streets, ordered worn-out buses in both cities to “get fit, smarter and painted” and asked residents along Chittagong’s main roads from the airport to the city to paint their homes and shops. Now that Dhaka’s latest move is a mass termination of mosquitoes, it remains to be seen how Chittagong will strike back.