Dengue outbreak: Cases in Punjab reach 9,402

Virus claims eight more lives in Lahore; CM thanks Sri Lanka for assistance.


Ali Usman September 24, 2011

LAHORE: Dengue fever continued taking its toll as the number of cases reached an alarming 9,402 in Punjab on Friday, of which 8,455 are from Lahore alone. Eight more people in Lahore died of the virus on Friday.

Punjab health department officials told The Express Tribune that 582 new dengue cases were reported in Punjab during the last 24 hours, of which 463 were from Lahore.

Meanwhile, Sri Lankan High Commissioner in Pakistan Air Chief Marshal (retd) Jayalath Weerakkody called on Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to discuss matters regarding cooperation to control the dengue epidemic.

During the meeting, Sharif thanked the president, government and the people of Sri Lanka in assisting Pakistan to cope with the virus. He said he would personally visit Colombo to express his gratitude on behalf of the people of Pakistan. Sri Lanka has recently recovered from a dengue epidemic.

The chief minister said that the Punjab government had evolved a consolidated strategy to curb dengue, adding that short, medium and long term policies are being evolved. He said that the government has also decided to set up a Punjab Dengue Eradication Control Authority.

Sharif said that doctors and paramedical staff will be sent to Sri Lanka for training, while directing the chairman of planning and development, the additional chief secretary and the health secretary to evolve a strategy for soliciting the cooperation of the Sri Lankan high commissioner for eradication of the virus.

High Commissioner Weerakkody said that cooperation and expertise will be provided by the Sri Lankan government for curbing dengue in Pakistan. He said that Sri Lanka had faced the challenges of the outbreak for three decades; however, it was successful in controlling it to a large extent through a consolidated and effective strategy.

He said that Sri Lanka has sent the same medical team to Punjab which had played an effective role in the elimination of dengue in Sri Lanka.

Bahawalpur

One patient succumbed to the dengue virus in Bahawalpur on Friday. Ten patients suffering from dengue are currently under treatment in the Bahawal Victoria Hospital. Twelve patients have been discharged after successful treatment, said senior physician Dr Qazi Masroor Ali on Friday.

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa

The number of patients affected by the virus has climbed to 126 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, of which five people have died, said a latest report of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Health Services Department issued on Friday.

The number of suspected dengue patients in the region stands at 254, of which 126 are confirmed cases. According to the report, 21 patients are from Abbottabad, Haripur and Peshawar, 10 from Mardan, 18 from Mansehra, nine from Swat, two each from Shangla, Kohat, Charsadda and Bannu, four in Nowshera, one each in Batagram, Upper Dir, Karak, Lakki Marwat, Malakand, Torghar, Bajaur Agency, Khyber Agency and Mohmand Agency.

So far, 187 patients have been discharged from hospitals across the province.

20 more dengue cases in Karachi

Twenty-three more dengue cases were reported in Sindh on Friday, out of which 20 were from Karachi and one each from Sukkur, Ghotki and Dadu. This brings the total number of people infected by the virus in Sindh this year to 322 of which 275 were from Karachi.

(WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM APP and ADDITONAL REPORTING BY MAHNOOR SHEERAZI IN KARACHI)

Published in The Express Tribune, September 24th,  2011.

COMMENTS (1)

Mehmood Akhter | 9 years ago | Reply

The spreading dengue fever in Punjab is a classic example of poorest Governance, where governments have failed in gutter and garbage management, talking of moral issues like corruption and constitutional issues is like talking Sanskrit to the people. Because of our health sector’s failure we needed Sri Lankan experts to tell us that it was wrong to assume that dengue mosquitoes only breed in fresh water. Even the government department’s advertisements were based on this misperception. Is it not pathetic that a large city like Lahore has inadequate facilities to meet an outbreak, without even enough platelets separating machines? This is because the health and education sectors are given the last priority by Punjab Government.

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