Punjab has become the first state in the country to review all deaths reported due to dengue in government as well as private hospitals.
The department of health and family welfare has constituted district-level and state-level committees of various experts to review dengue deaths. This was stated here on Monday by health and family welfare minister Madan Mohan Mittal.
He stated that during 2012 (January to December), 15 deaths had been reported in various districts of the state. Of these, eight deaths were reported from Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, and seven from Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMER), Chandigarh.
All these cases were reviewed first by the district-level committees and later by the state-level committee. The health minister added that after reviewing the medical, laboratory and treatment records of all cases, seven were ruled out as cases of dengue deaths.
As a result, the state witnessed eight confirmed deaths due to dengue for 2012 (four from SAS Nagar and one each from Kapurthala, Moga, Ludhiana and Gurdaspur).
Mittal said Punjab now had 15 centres for free testing of dengue cases (government medical colleges at Amritsar, Patiala and Faridkot; and civil hospitals at Bathinda, Fatehgarh Sahib, Ferozepur, Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Ludhiana, Mansa, Moga, SAS Nagar and Sangrur).
He added that symptomatic treatment of all dengue patients admitted to government hospitals was also being provided free of cost.
Principal secretary, health and family welfare, Vini Mahajan said the department had issued a notification for malaria and dengue to ensure that all government and private doctors got patients tested and confirmed at these 15 sentinel sites before declaring dengue cases.
Dr Ashok Nayyar, director, health services, Punjab, said the department would conduct house surveys before the start of the transmission season in 2013 and carry out insecticide sprays in the affected areas to prevent dengue and malaria.