RAWALPINDI: In an alarming development, the total number of dengue cases in Rawalpindi has increased to 170, prompting the health department to be on high alert to cope with any situation.
The District Health Authority Focal Person Dr Zeeshan said that the present weather was conducive for breeding the dengue larvae. This, in turn, was contributing to the continuous increase in dengue larvae and infections.
Dr Zeeshan further said that said most of the cases were being reported from the cantonment and federal capital areas owing to lack of proper surveillance and preventive measures by the concerned authorities there.
Moreover, he said that storage of water in open places, open drains in the city with no dengue surveillance and non-reporting of dengue patients in the federal capital and cantonment areas has increased the number of dengue patients in Rawalpindi. He further added that one contributing factor was that the health authority has trouble reaching areas which are deemed sensitive for security purposes in the garrison city. To tackle this, he said that the Rawalpindi deputy commissioner has directed the concerned officials to update the dengue surveillance report and send it to the Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB) station commander for conducting dengue surveillance in the prohibited areas by authorised personnel.
With respect to efforts in the federal capital, he said that the health authority has formed a special team comprising eight members who were fumigating areas of the federal capital lying adjacent to Rawalpindi especially in Tarnol and the Sabzi Mandi areas.
The health officer added that the department has expedited surveillance activities, tracing larvae and its eradication besides focusing on hotspots where larvae have been detected during current checking. Dr Zeeshan asked the residents to use mosquito nets or mosquito repellents like mats and coils while assuring them that contracting dengue fever is no reason for panic as it is curable with timely and proper treatment.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 15th, 2018.