RAWALPINDI: As many as 30 new patients have tested positive for the dengue virus at hospitals in Rawalpindi over the past 24 hours, doctors said on Sunday, adding that they have started to increase the bed space in their dengue wards to cater to the rising influx of patients.
With the latest cases, the total number of people to have tested positive for the virus from the garrison city has topped 803.
Health officials said that most of the patients who were confirmed to have dengue hailed from different areas of Potohar Town.
Meanwhile, the administration of three allied hospitals including the Benazir Bhutto General Hospital (BBH), District Headquarters (DHQ) hospital and the Holy Family Hospital (HFH) have started working to increase the number of beds in dengue wards.
BBGH Dengue Ward Focal Person Dr Inayat told The Express Tribune that all patients admitted to the hospital were being provided with treatment as per the dengue standard operating procedures (SOPs).
He added that they were adding a further 50 beds in their dengue ward due to the high influx of patients.
When asked about the influx of cases from Potohar Town, Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB) Public Health Officer Waris Bhatti has said that the dengue threat continues to plague the city, adding that their anti-dengue campaign in cantonment and city areas — including Potohar town — was in full swing.
Meanwhile, the experts suggested that the public should take protective measures against dengue and should not neglect its threat.
Members of the Young Doctors Association (YDA) have announced to boycott the Outpatient Department (OPD) of public hospitals across Punjab from Wednesday unless their demands are fulfilled.
YDA officials including YDA Punjab Chairman Dr Shoiab Tarar, office bearers Dr Rana Azeem, Dr Sarmad and Dr Ashfaq Niazi held a news conference at the DHQ hospital on Sunday.
Wearing white headbands with the words “Security” inscribed on them in red ink, they announced that the boycott of DHQ’s emergency wards will continue.
They accused the government of deliberately delaying the approval of the Doctors Paramedics Security Bill.
They said that delays in passing the bill are adding to the sense of vulnerability felt by doctors working in government hospitals.
They pointed to the recent murder of two people in the hospital and demanded that cases should be registered against provincial ministers for Law Raja Basharat and Health Dr Yasmin Rashid. They urged the two lawmakers to resign.
The YDA members alleged that Dr Rashid has proved to be an incompetent minister and that they were ashamed of voting for her.
“All claims of change were false,” they expressed.
The doctors said that they will boycott OPDs in government hospitals across Punjab if their demands were not fulfilled until Wednesday.
“We are ready to engage in dialogue but the government has thrown the matter into the cold store. We will now only talk with Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar,” they stated.
They also protested the enforcement of the Medical Teaching Institutions (MTI) Act, claiming that it will end the free treatment of the poor in public hospitals.
The voiced the option of surrounding CM Buzdar when he visits Rawalpindi next or even march to the Punjab Assembly building in Lahore or Prime Minister Imran Khan’s residence in Bani Gala.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 2nd, 2019.