The total number of patients suffering from dengue virus has exceeded 5,000 in Punjab, while three more people have died, Express 24/7 reported on Wednesday.
Official figures report 11 people have died in the province. However, unconfirmed reports state that the death toll has reached 18.
So far more than 5,000 cases of dengue are reported in Punjab, out of which over 4,400 are from Lahore alone.
Admin rooms of most hospitals in Lahore are converted into wards to cater to the surging number of patients.
Over 4,000 patients were tested for dengue at Lahore’s Jinnah Hospital today, out of which a hundred have been tested positive.
Meanwhile, a team of Sri Lankan experts is also expected to arrive in Lahore today to help the authorities combat the menace of dengue.
Dengue fever awareness-raising seminar
According to the latest statistics provided by the United Nations (UN), as many as 50 million people have become victims of dengue fever in the world and about 20,000 die of dengue virus every year around the globe, PPI reported.
Dr Farah Kamran, medical specialist from Daska DHQ Civil Hospital, disclosed UN data while addressing the participants of an anti dengue fever awareness-raising seminar held at Daska city.
Kamran revealed that the fears of spreading dengue fever were rising in Asia especially in Pakistan day by day. She said that according to the World Health Organization (WHO), the main causes of spreading dengue fever were the increasing temperatures, heavy rains in some areas, floods and rapidly growing population.
While addressing the seminar, Dr Riffat Shafiq, a children specialist, said that the dengue fever affected patients should ensure the maximum use of boiled water. She added that the common use of honey in warm water, fruits like oranges, guava, apple and black seeds and black pepper could also help to prevent the dengue fever, especially in growing children.
Number of patients continue to rise
Dengue outbreak is on the rise in all parts of Punjab including Islamabad where the number of patients has tripled in the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), reported Express 24/7 on Wednesday.
According to sources, 276 patients are being treated at PIMS in the outpatient ward, while 26 have been admitted to the hospital.
In the Poly Clinic hospital, 30 patients were reportedly discharged after treatment while two of them are still under treatment.
Four more patients were diagnosed with dengue in Gujjar Khan tehsil of Rawalpindi, raising the number of patients in the city to 18.
In Faisalabad, at least 170 people were inflicted with the disease while 44 people were detected with the virus in Sargodha.
Dengue outbreak: Hospital authorities conceal number of patients
The authorities at various hospitals in Lahore refused to give out the exact number of dengue patients to the media, as the virus keeps on spreading all over Punjab, according to a report by Express 24/7.
Sources said that the government hospitals were asked by the Punjab Health Department not to divulge the number of patients admitted in their hospitals.
The officials believe that the rising number of patients would cause an undue panic among the people.
Express 24/7 contacted the spokespersons of Mayo and General Hospitals to verify the number of patients admitted in their respective hospitals, but the spokespersons refused to give the official numbers.
Other hospitals are not taking calls from the media.
Meanwhile, private hospitals in Lahore are also not providing free treatment to dengue patients as announced earlier.
CM orders 20 dengue diagnostic centres to be set up
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif gave out orders for the setting up of 20 dengue diagnostic centers in Lahore.
According to a Punjab government spokesperson, Sharif directed the additional chief secretary to establish the laboratories within the next 24 hours.
The managements of Rawalpindi Medical College, Holy Family Hospital, Benazir Bhutto Hospital and District Headquarters Hospital have put their staff on red alert to cope with the epidemic.