Amid persisting severity of coronavirus, dengue fever is also on the rise in the provincial capital due to the district administration's failure to take timely action to curb it during the ongoing rains.
Dengue wards are being set up in hospitals in view of the large number of citizens suffering from the disease. The number of dengue patients reported in the city during the past month has reached 255. Only 32 cases were recorded during the previous month.
The fever is spreading more in posh areas where rainwater could not be drained.
Dengue has been afflicting the citizens for many years due to the bite of the dangerous mosquitoes in rainy days.
The metropolitan corporation used to take steps to save the citizens from the seasonal disease with the help of health officers serving under it, but now a separate health authority has been formed.
However, deputy commissioner of Lahore still has to play a key role in protecting the citizens from the threat.
Lists of spots where the mosquito breeds more are compiled evey year to take timely steps for dengue prevention in Lahore.
There currently are 17,000 such hotspots identified in Lahore. They include ponds, houses, factories, junk shops and cemeteries.
Before the monsoon season in past years, the district administration used spray and other means to prevent the emergence of larvae in hotspot areas, sewers, ponds, markets, factories and cemeteries for dengue prevention. It also and used various programmes and promotional means to create awareness about the risk posed by dengue.
However, this year the district administration took insufficient steps to prevent the spread of dengue, and the inadequate strategy resulted in the fever spreading at a fast pace. Now the authorities appear to be struggling to bring the situation under control.
Therefore, dengue wards have been set up in government hospitals so that better treatment facilities can be provided to the patients.
After frequent rain in Lahore in the past few days, water has stagnated in open areas, especially cemeteries.
The failure of the authorities concerned to drain the rainwater resulted in proliferation of dengue larvae and spread of the disease.
The disease is spreading mostly in the upscale and peripheral areas of the city. The affected areas include several phases of DHA and Union Councils 120 and 116.
In view of the situation, Lahore Deputy Commissioner Omar Sher Chatha visited the Services Hospital and reviewed the arrangements for setting up dengue wards. Medical Superintendent Dr Ikhtashamul Haq and other officers also accompanied the DC who inspected the dengue and coronavirus wards and the outpatient department of the hospital.
The official checked the number of patients admitted to the dengue ward and talked to them. He directed the officials concerned to provide best facilities to the dengue patients coming to the Services Hospital and maintain their record.
The DC said on the occasion that 2,974 indoor and 473 outdoor teams had been formed for eliminating dengue.
Chhatta said the dengue workers were continuing dengue surveillance.
In view of the increasing cases of dengue, he appealed to the people to take precautionary measures and ensure cleanliness.
The DC said it should be ensured that water did not pool inside and around homes. He also checked the sanitation arrangements at the Services Hospital and called for their improvement.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 16th, 2021.
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