Dengue surge unsettles authorities

54 more dengue fever patients land in hospitals during in last 24 hours


Imran Asghar/Yawar Hayat September 10, 2022
Several dengue patients are isolated in mosquito nets at the Benazir Bhutto Hospital, Rawalpindi. PHOTO: ONLINE

RAWALPINDI:

The alarming number of dengue fever cases is gradually presenting a stiff challenge to health authorities and the district administration as 54 more suspected patients landed in three major hospitals of the garrison city during the last 24 hours, taking the total toll to 734 in the district.

On the other hand, the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad on Friday said that 465 dengue cases have been reported in the capital city so far. It said that of the total cases, 304 were reported in rural areas and 161 in urban areas.

A team of experts from Lahore has also failed to control the spread of dengue cases in Rawalpindi, forcing the administration to issue an alert to protect children from being infected by the dangerous mosquito.

According to the data obtained from the Rawalpindi health department, 54 more suspected dengue patients have landed in the hospitals in the last 24 hours, taking the total number to 734 this season.

According to the data, over 150 patients were under treatment in the three allied hospitals of Rawalpindi while 525 patients were being provided medical assistance at home.

Sources told The Express Tribune that the administration had planned to contain the dengue mosquito in hotspot areas to protect residents of other areas, however, the virus has spread to other areas, infecting a large number of citizens.

A team of experts from Lahore had also been called to Rawalpindi to assess the situation and stop the spread of dengue besides taking other measures including fogging, however, the team has failed to contain the spread of the lethal virus, the sources said adding that the experts have expressed their frustration over the rising number of cases.

Sources said that the district administration has issued an alert to protect children from dengue fever asking parents to get them to wear full-sleeve clothes.

The administration has decided that teams will also visit different schools to raise awareness about dengue mosquitos and prevention measures.

A spokesperson for the Rawalpindi district administration said that 734 cases of dengue fever have so far been reported in the district. He said that the district administration was working on a war-footing basis to contain the dengue spread.

He said that as of September 8, 1731 cases have been registered against people for violating dengue SOPs. He said that over 6,600 notices have been issued and 477 buildings sealed after the detection of the dengue larvae.

The spokesperson said that a fine of over Rs4 million had also been imposed on citizens for failing to implement dengue mosquito SOPs.

He said that the district administration, the health department, the provincial government and other allied departments were in the field to defeat the dengue mosquito.

Meanwhile, the Haripur deputy commissioner has issued orders to the health department and all village councils of TMA and local government to carry out a combing operation in houses and commercial buildings to contain the dengue virus from further spreading.

Sources, however, said only two teams of the health department have been assigned the duty in the whole district, which has raised the fear of dengue and malaria epidemics.

The sources said that the municipal government and TMAs have shown utter negligence over the grave issue despite the rising number of dengue cases in the district.

Citizens Imran Khan, Attaullah Abbasi, Zahoor Ahmed Qazi Nisar, Qamar Naveed, Farman Elahi, Haji Karam Deen, Mudassar Ayub, Sajjad Rehman, Aqeel Awan and others said that previously Haripur’s village councils purchased mosquito spraying pumps but they have failed to launch a spray campaign in villages which have been under the grip of the dengue virus.

They demanded that workers should be hired in each village council to carry out the dengue spray but the Haripur local government department has shown complete silence on the issue.

They said that TMA has resources and workers at their disposal and they could have cleaned drains and conducted fogging, however, TMA officials remained silent.

The citizens demanded that the deputy commissioner’s office took notice of the issue and order a probe and that the district must be protected from the dengue attack.

The citizens also claimed that hospitals were refusing to admit more patients due to the workload, which was alarming.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 10th, 2022.

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