New Delhi: The weather bureau, which releases the weather forecasts, will also be predicting about Malaria epidemics, from the next rainy season. M. Rajeevan, the Secretary of the Earth Science Ministry, gave this information. Rajeevan clarified that the research done at Nagpur would be used for this purpose.
M. Rajeevan was speaking at a function organised by the India Science Academy on the subject Recent Advances in Weather and Climate Predictions. Rajeevan expressed confidence by saying, ‘The weather bureau has started the study of epidemic diseases spreading because of mosquito infestation. The research was carried out whether the epidemic diseases are linked to the seasonal rains and temperatures. Information received from Nagpur regarding Malaria was used in the research. The same method can be used in other places. Therefore, the potential pockets where there can be an outbreak of a Malaria epidemic will be predicted from the next rainy season.’ He also claimed that the same techniques could be used to predict other epidemic diseases like Dengue and Cholera.
In 2001, 2.8 million cases of Malaria were reported. The number has come down to 400,000 by 2018. The number of Malaria cases in India seems to be declining. But Malaria is still rampant in the mountainous, jungle and Adivasi areas. Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and northeastern states of Tripura, Meghalaya and Mizoram are the states with high incidences of Malaria. At this time, Rajeevan also pointed to the other issues in the weather bureau.
India has started using High Performance Computing (HPC) for weather forecasts, and its current capability is ten petaflops. It is being increased to 40 petaflops, and Rajeevan said that this would result in more accurate weather forecasts. India comes only after the United States, Japan and the United Kingdom in the use of HPC technology. The weather department has spent ₹9.9 billion on National Monsoon Mission and HPC.