MINGORA: Dengue virus tightened its deadly grip on Swat as yet another patient died on Thursday, taking the unofficial death toll to 32.
The deceased was identified as Umar Ali, 45, from Old Post Office Road, Mingora. According to unofficial sources, Ali suffered from dengue fever and died of a heart seizure. Thousands gathered at Grassy Ground and offered congregational prayers for those infected with the virus.
The virus continues to spread in spite of the provincial government’s claims of having a handle on the situation. With unofficial figures tallying 5,000 infected patients and 32 dead, Swat is still at the losing end of the battle.
Saidu Teaching Hospital (STH) spokesperson Dr Wasil Khan maintains the hospital has registered 3,809 patients over the last 40 days.
A total 2,722 patients with dengue have so far been admitted to STH, added Dr Wasil. Out of those, 2,370 have been discharged after recovery. The count includes 73 patients who were discharged from the STH on Thursday.
“Over the last 24 hours, 119 patients diagnosed with dengue were admitted to the STH – at least 32 patients have complications.”
Dr Wasil shared 20 men and 5 women were transferred to the intensive care unit and 75 patients are undergoing treatment at the special ward for dengue set up by the district administration at Saidu Teaching Hospital. In the last 12 hours, a patient in critical condition was referred to Lady Reading Hospital, Peshawar.
Meanwhile, at a meeting in Islamabad, K-P Minister Shaukat Ali Yousafzai briefed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan about steps taken to control the outbreak in Swat. Imran directed the K-P health minister to use all available resources to provide health facilities to the public.
The PTI chief also expressed satisfaction over the formation of institutional management councils for hospitals.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 20th, 2013.