Health minister Surendra Singh Negi has sounded high alert in all the 13 districts following a surge in dengue cases and the infection spreading to new areas.
On Wednesday, the dengue patient count was 142, with 136 cases from Dehradun. The mosquito-borne viral disease has spread in the Kumaon region from where six patients were reported sick on Tuesday evening.
More than 100 cases have been reported from a single locality in Dehradun – Pathribagh – spotlighting the health department’s lack of preparedness to curb the disease. Bhandaribagh, Kargi, THDC Colony, Azad Colony, Prakash Nagar and Jogiwala are other areas in the capital affected by dengue.
“We have formed alert teams in each district where respective chief medical officers (CMOs) will closely supervise source reduction (elimination of mosquito breeding places) and fogging activities,” said Negi.
According to the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme of the Union government, Uttarakhand reported 1,655 dengue cases last year.
Though officials confirmed only one death due to dengue in 2015, it is suspected that over 10 people had lost their lives to dengue-like conditions.
Dr Kiran Bisht, the state nodal officer of the Integrated Disease Surveillance Project (IDSP), said the health department was working on a “war footing” to combat dengue.
“Despite sensitising the locals, most of them are not ready to keep their houses free from stagnant water and expect us to clean their households,” she said, adding that lakhs of dengue larvae were detected in Pathribagh.
In Dehradun, more than 1,000 blood samples have been collected since July 15 from affected areas of which 136 have been confirmed dengue positive. On Tuesday evening, four people were reported dengue positive in Nainital and two in Udham Singh Nagar – both in the Kumaon region.
People alleged that the health department was not serious in combating dengue.
Alok Kumar, the husband of Amita Devi – the corporator of Kargi ward who is currently battling dengue – said, “The department teams are not going beyond formal visits and fogging. Thanks to their reckless approach, more than 100 dengue patients have emerged from within a 300-metre stretch in our area and fresh dengue confirmations are surfacing every day,” he said.
Officials said the locals’ lack of awareness was one of the key reasons behind the dengue spread.
A teacher from Pathribagh area died of dengue at a Delhi hospital on July 6, the only casualty this year.