With 12 new suspected dengue patients of dengue admitted to various hospitals of the city on Saturday, bringing the total number of cases to more than 200 in the past 15 days, the residents are irked with the administration for failing to control the outbreak.
Ravi Kumar of Gandhi Camp, Happy of Bhandari Mohalla, Satnam Singh of Thathiari Mohalla and Avinash Chander of Lanwian Mohalla were admitted to the local civil hospital, while more than eight people were admitted to private hospitals with dengue fever-like symptoms.
Even as three people, including a woman, reportedly died of dengue in Amritsar hospitals, the administration refused to confirm the cause of death.
Senior medical officer Sukhdeep Singh said, "The three people died in hospitals in Amritsar. They did not approach the civil hospital here, and we did not examine or diagnose them, so we cannot say for certain what the cause of their deaths was."
Patients at the civil hospital complained about shortage of syringes and medicines, alleging that in spite of three deaths, the administration failed to get a platelet cell count machine, forcing them to approach private laboratories for the expensive test, which has to be done twice a day. As most of the patients approaching the civil hospital belong to the low-income group, the shortage added to their woes.
Patients accused the health department of not maintaining the hospital properly, adding that all the washrooms and general wards were quite dirty.
Besides, only three of more than 15 patients undergoing treatment at the hospital were provided with mosquito nets, they alleged.
Sources in the health department said that every day, nearly 50 people with dengue-like symptoms were approaching the civil hospital, but due to some undisclosed reasons, doctors were avoiding admitting them, and were sending them back. Only those people whose platelet cell count had dropped to below 75,000 were admitted.
The sanitation condition of the city has not improved yet either. A survey of the city showed that garbage was piled high in most localities, and water was overflowing due to choking of sewage pipes at Thathairi Gate, making it the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes, which carry dengue, malaria and other disease-causing germs.
Talking to HT, Youth Against Corruption district coordinator Ajay Rekhi blamed the civil administration for the outbreak, and said that due to the "non-seriousness" of the officials of the health and civil administration towards tackling the problem, it had spiralled out of control.
"Responsibility should be fixed and action taken against the erring officials," he demanded.
Executive officer Manmohan Singh Randhawa claimed that he had deputed more than 24 people to carry out fogging in the city, and especially in the inner city, and appealed to people to drain out stagnant water lying in their areas.