Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, December 20
This year the city witnessed its worst dengue outbreak in the past four years with the UT registering a fourfold increase in cases over the previous years – 1,584 cases against approximately 300 cases every year since 2018.
The city also witnessed three deaths due to dengue this year, whereas no fatalities occurred due to the disease before this since 2015. The outbreak this year was attributed to the region recording a delayed withdrawal of the south-west monsoon – the second time in four years. Normally, the monsoon withdraws by the end of September. This year, the date extended to October 25.
Experts blame the prolonged rainfall this year for the increased vector population. Dr Suman Singh, Director, Health Services, UT, said, “This year, the prolonged monsoon season became conducive for breeding of mosquitoes causing dengue. Besides, all focus was shifted to the second wave of Covid this year, a possible factor behind the massive outbreak.”
“A large number of city residents and public and private institutions were challaned for not keeping their surroundings clean and dengue larvae were detected in their refrigerator trays, pots and tyres,” she said.
The UT Health Department has been on its toes to deal with the worst outbreak of all times. As many as 6,81,757 houses were visited by teams of health workers to check the breeding of mosquitoes, while 10,881 notices were issued to city residents who were found flouting norms. As many as 489 challans and 338 show-cause notices were issued to to public institutions. During the survey, dengue larvae were found in 7,620 coolers, 5,398 containers, 707 overhead tanks and 685 tyres.
Shortage of beds
This season was also marred with hospitals running out of beds for patients requiring medical intervention. The emergency wards of all three government hospitals were full with dengue patients requiring platelets.
The demand for platelets rose to such an extent that there was a shortage of platelet kits in the market. “There are 300 trolleys at our hospital but all were occupied during the ‘dengue season’. We had to tell the patients that we don’t have beds and it was almost a Covid-like situation. Patients’ families were counselled not to panic. We had also set up a triage in the emergency and preference was given to patients who had a low platelet count.”
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