Malaria is caused by the parasites called Plasmodium. By the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes, called “malaria vectors,” these parasites are transmitted to humans. In a non-immune adult, symptoms typically occur 10–15 days after the infective bite. The first signs – cough, headache, and chills – may be mild and hard to recognize as malaria. P. falciparum malaria may progress to serious illness if not treated within 24 hours, often leading to death. In sub-Saharan Africa, the majority of cases of malaria and deaths occur. The WHO regions of South-East Asia, the East Mediterranean, the West Pacific, and the Americas are all at risk, however.
Since nowadays, the COVID-19 pandemic is robbing all the attention of government workers and healthcare providers, it has become difficult to keep a track of other disease outbreaks during the rainy season such as dengue and malaria can be life-threatening. The lockdown, movement restrictions, and social distancing efforts have hampered efforts to keep malaria at the bay. People are finding themselves confined in spaces during these heavy rainfalls and with limited access to the outside world and protection from mosquitoes, there is a tremendous spread in water-borne diseases. Since COVID-19 has diverted all the resources from prevention activities such as vector control measures, water-borne diseases such as malaria are hitting the world. People are also reluctant to go to hospitals and EMRs because they fear catching COVID-19 and getting sick.
In June the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation ( BMC) reported 328 cases of malaria, four cases of dengue, and one case of leptospirosis. No deaths have been reported in the last two months because of these ailments. The number of cases of malaria nearly doubled in June as there were 163 cases, compared to May. BMC data shows that three cases of dengue and one case of leptospirosis were reported in hospitals in May. In BMC hospitals, at least 8,000 beds were reserved for non-COVID diseases to treat monsoon diseases such as leptospirosis, dengue, malaria, typhoid, gastroenteritis, and cholera. If not treated on time malaria can be life-threatening during the COVID-19 pandemic.