Call it apathy of health department officials or fear of drawing flak from the Punjab government that instead of tackling dengue outbreak in the royal city they are busy suppressing numbers allowing the outbreak to take the form of an epidemic.
The health officials said around 30-40 dengue-related cases had been reported at the emergency ward every day since the outbreak in September, but surprisingly the official's account keep it to only 110.
Sources with the hospital said that 12 dengue-related casualties had been reported so far, however, the authorities concerned refused to comment.
The exacerbated picture of the outbreak can be judged from the fact that on Friday 10 children were down with fever and thrombocytopenia - which according to World Health Organisation (WHO) definition is counted as dengue - were reported at the emergency ward.
At a time when dengue has taken the form of epidemic, the Red-Cross medicine store at Government Rajendra hospital, which is supposed to remain open round the clock, remained closed on weekends and on weekdays it functions only till 2pm, thus adding to the misery of patients, who rue that they had to shell out more money in order to purchase medicines from.
The Apheresis kit for dengue patients to separate red blood cells from plasma is also not available at the Red Cross store.
The kit costs around Rs. 6,570, it is being sold for`8,400 at medical stores outside the hospital adding to the patients' woes.
The condition outside the emergency ward at the government hospital is pathetic, too, as water is standing stagnant and mosquitoes breeding in it. Moreover, the used Ivy bags and bandages could also be found thrown outside in an open dustbins right next to the emergency ward door.
Thanks to the sheer negligent of the Patiala municipal corporation (MC) and the health department officials that the plights of the patients continue to worsen.
On the other hand, blood bank officials said 100 bags of blood platelets were being issued on daily basis. A patient suffering from dengue fever is also known as 'breakbone disease' that needed 2-3 bags platelets transfusion, they added.
Though the dengue menace continues to loom large across the city, the officials remain indifferent and continue blaming each other.
The health department officials said the cause for the outbreak was apathetic attitude of the MC, as they failed to conduct fogging on time, now most of the houses had larva breeding in them.
Till date, despite the number of dengue cases reported rising, the fogging was being carried out sluggishly in the affected areas.
Residents whined that they were yet to see fogging machines in the area.
No area or locality of the city has been spared by the menace, including posh areas like Model Town, Raghubir Nagar, Punjabi Bagh, Charan Bagh and others.
However, the chief medical was not available for a comment.
While the officials busy disowning the responsibility, the city is battling hard to survive from menace.
As Red Cross store remained closed, we were forced to buy medicines at inflated rates from outside the hospital Gaurav Sharma, Tejbha colony resident.
Owing to sheer lapses of health department and MC, the whole city is bearing the brunt of dengue outbreak Neeraj Kumar, Master Colony resident.
Health department must come out of its slumber and act rather than playing blame game. Every house has at least one patient suffering from the outbreak Babita Devi, a dengue patient from Mandi Gobindgarh.