Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, October 2
With around 2,500 confirmed dengue cases reported already, the state is in the severe grip of the vector-borne disease.
Patiala, the home district of Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, Health Minister Brahm Mohindra and Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, tops the chart with 595 cases.
It is followed by Sangrur (303 cases), Mohali (261), Jalandhar (194), Mansa (183) and Kapurthala (157).
Experts say this can be another bad year for the state. With more than 15,000 cases reported last year, Punjab was among the top five worst-hit states in the country. Till mid-October last year, about 3,500 dengue cases were reported; the figure is likely to be crossed this week only.
It is the fourth consecutive year when state’s facing one of the country’s worst dengue outbreak. The experts blame it on the weak mosquito breeding control prorgramme in the state.
On an average, 200 confirmed cases of dengue are reported every day. According to department experts, the next one-and-a-half months will be crucial as the number of cases will hit the peak. After mid-November, the number will start declining as the night temperature will come down to 15 degree Celsius. Cold is not considered conducive for the breeding of mosquitoes.
It is common knowledge that different departments keep on passing the buck when it comes to dengue control. This April, Health Minister Brahm Mohindra was left furious when senior officials, including the Administrative Secretary of his department, failed to turn up for a meeting of the task force on dengue. Officials of 11 departments were supposed to be present at the meeting.
Brahm Mohindra said the dengue outbreak needed to be dealt with by 11 departments. “The Health Department steps in when a patient walks into hospital with dengue-like symptoms. Our role is only to provide treatment; the prevention part has to be taken care of by Local Bodies, Rural Development and other departments. As for the Health Department, it is prepared to deal with any challenge,” he added.
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