Patiala, December 8
The district is reeling under a dengue outbreak with the number of cases reaching 1,039 this season, the highest in four years. The Patiala Urban area has been hit the hardest as the total number of cases matches those of the rural belt, including Bhadson, Shutrana, Kalomajra, Kauli, Harpalpur and Dudhan Sadhan put together.
Of the total cases so far, 415 have been reported from the urban belt, while Samana town reported only five cases. The city’s count was followed by Bhadson with 167 cases and Nabha with 119.
As many as 94 cases were reported from the Kauli block, 85 from Kalomajra, 63 from Rajpura, 47 from Dudhan Sadhan, 32 from Harpalpur and 12 from Shutrana.
The Municipal Corporation had recently stated that the posh areas in the district were the worst-hit. The MC had said the slum dwellers who went to work at the to the posh areas got infected with dengue there. It had also said water containers kept for birds were the prime mosquito breeding grounds in these areas. The worst-hit areas in the city include Urban Estate, Model Town, Bajwa Colony, New Officers’ Colony, DMW Colony, Partap Nagar, Shanti Nagar and Virk Colony.
Lack of cooperation among MC and health officials
Despite repeated meetings held between the officials of the MC and the Health Department, the departments failed to carry out dengue-related activities together.
The civic body alleged that the Health Department failed to provide it with data regarding detection of dengue larvae for issuing challans at various locations. The Health Department officials on the other hand alleged that the MC officials did not take part in the dengue elimination activities.
While the Health Department had been carrying out drives to inspect dengue larvae at various sites in the city in April, the corporation began the process and started issuing challans only in July, when the Health Department had already detected dengue larvae at nearly 600 sites within the MC’s jurisdiction.
A first: cases surfacing in Dec
Officials at the Health Department say unlike previous years, cases are being reported in December. District Epidemiologist Dr Sumeet Singh says: “This time, the climatic conditions have remained favourable to the dengue mosquito.” Earlier, October and November used to be the peak season for mosquito breeding, but this season, most of the cases are emerging in November and have even stretched to the first two weeks of December, he says.
This year, the district reported two dengue-related deaths, as was in 2019, 2020 and 2021. An official said reports of two more deaths are under review.
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