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January 24, 2022, 10:21 am

A “mosquito Saigon”

(22:14:49 PM 27/10/2012)
( - There is a “mosquito Saigon” area in HCM City, where local people have to live together with mosquitoes.


“You would accidentally swat hundreds of mosquitoes a day. If you try to swat mosquitoes with specific tools, you would have numerous mosquitoes,” said Nguyen Duy Can, a physician, when talking about the lives of people in Me Coc residential quarter in HCM City.

However, in fact, Me Coc is not the only area in HCM City, where people have to live together with mosquitoes.

Having dinner in mosquito nets

The Me Coc residential quarter is surrounded by Lo Gom and Doi canals, which produce mosquitoes. After heavy rains which cause flood tides, the road linking to the Me Coc station gets wet, turning the ideal places for grass to develop and for mosquitoes to multiply.

Mosquitoes here begin attacking people when it is twilight. They are from bushes and stagnant puddles nearby. All the local people here have to get ready to “struggle” with mosquitoes with nets and mosquito sprays.

Tinh, who has been living in Me Coc for the last 10 years, said that all the families here have to have dinner soon when it is still light, and then close the doors tightly to prevent mosquitoes. It would be better to stay in mosquito nets and drive away mosquitoes with electric fans.

“Mosquitoes here are very stubborn and warlike. Though I swing my arms, they would not fly away but would keep sucking the blood,” he said.

The clinic of doctor Nguyen Duy Can, which is located near Tinh’s house, has always had doors shut to prevent mosquitoes. If the doors keep open, mosquitoes, which are not afraid of the physician, would attack patients as well. 

Can said that local authorities usually send workers to spray chemical substances to kill mosquitoes. Meanwhile, people also try to protect themselves with mosquito spray products. However, all these measures cannot help.

“It seems that the mosquitoes here are resistant to chemical substances?” Can said.

The hard struggle with mice and mosquitoes

Local residents in Tan Binh district, where there are Tan Tru and Hy Vong canals, said they have been struggling with mice for the last many months. The story about the struggle between local people and local mice appeared on Lao Dong newspaper one month ago.

When the article appeared on the newspaper, it shivered readers, who cannot imagine that people can live in such bad environment. However, local residents have said mice are not the biggest problem for now, because they have got used to living together with mice. What they are more afraid of are mosquitoes which can bring petechial fever to them and their children.

“It has been raining over the past few days, which has made the canals cleaner. Therefore, we feel a little safer. If you had come here some days ago, you would have found much more mosquitoes,” a local resident told reporters.

“Many mosquitoes get caught by electric fans. There are so many mosquitoes that I have to put them into a large plastic bag,” said Quy, a local resident.

Not only the residential quarters along canals or near stagnant puddles, but luxurious residential quarters in Hanoi have also been attacked by mosquitoes. 

Can said that living in such bad conditions, people would not be able to escape from mosquitoes, warning that it would be very difficult to control epidemics, if they break out.
Lao Dong

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