M A I N   N E W S

236 new cases of dengue nationwide
Tripti Nath
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 11
Aedes Egypti mosquito, which causes dengue and chikungunya, is giving the public, doctors and Health Ministry officers a tough time.

According to the control room of the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme, 236 fresh cases of dengue have been reported from various parts of the country. This includes 172 fresh dengue cases in Delhi and the National Capital Region. The number of dengue cases increased from 3,803 on Tuesday to 4,039 today and the dengue deaths increased from 52 on Tuesday to 84 today.

While Delhi and Maharashtra have reported 22 dengue deaths, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh each have reported eight. While Karnataka and Kerala have reported four deaths each Gujarat, Punjab and West Bengal have reported three dengue deaths each. The bad news is that the control of dengue and chikungunya is at the mercy of nature. Public health experts say that the problem will persist till the temperature comes down to 15 to 20 degree Celsius.

At present, the public health experts across the country have an enormous challenge posed by 13,26,000 cases of chikungunya and 4,039 cases of dengue.

The Union Health Minister, who chaired a meeting of Health Ministers of chikungunya affected states here today, conceded that there was a problem of active surveillance. “While some states have good surveillance, others have weak surveillance”.

Dr Ramadoss confirmed 13,26,000 cases of chikungunya. He said there had been no deaths reported due to chikungunya in the country.

“About 13,500 samples have been tested of which 1,602 samples have been found to be positive”.

The chikungunya affected states are Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Pondicherry, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu.

Dr Ramadoss, who visited Kerala recently, said deaths that had been described as chikungunya deaths were actually due to pre-existing health complications as cancer and tuberculosis. “We are accepting that there are dengue deaths. So why would we not accept that there are chikungunya deaths. The fact is that people don’t primarily die of chikungunya”.

The dengue affected states are Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, besides Chandigarh. The number of dengue cases reported from Delhi and surrounding areas alone is 1,101. Of these, 709 dengue cases have been reported from Delhi.

Dr Ramadoss visited AIIMS this morning and took a round of the casualty ward, the new private ward and other wards where dengue patients were being treated.

Dr D.K. Sharma, Medical Superintendent of RP Centre at AIIMS, who accompanied the minister, said 39 fresh dengue cases had come to the institute in the past 24 hours. He said while 170 dengue patients were being treated in the institute, an equal number was under observation. Of the 170 dengue patients, 10 were in the Intensive Care Units. In the past 24 hours, 950 patients had been screened in the fever screening Out Patient Department. The minister said the Centre had been supporting the states by providing them with fogging machines, testing kits, bed nets, information and awareness material and chemicals. He said the Centre had released Rs 15 to Rs 20 crore five months back and allotted another Rs 20 crore later to combat the problem. “We will allot funds according to the individual requirement of the state”.

Cornered by the media over the belated response of the ministry, Dr Ramadoss said, “I can give you a series of advisories, which we have been giving to the states. Every country in the world has mosquitoes and even a developed country like Singapore has had dengue cases”.



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