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Is Haryana hiding real dengue figures?

While the official number is over 200, unofficial figures coming from private hospitals tell a different tale altogether. Rhythma Kaul reports.

delhi Updated: Sep 01, 2008 00:50 IST
Rhythma Kaul

The dengue outbreak fever in Gurgaon may be bigger than what it appears to be. While the official number is over 200, unofficial figures coming from private hospitals tell a different tale altogether.

Some well-known hospitals claimed that on an average, about five dengue patients tested positive daily last week. “The number of suspected cases is huge, but out of them around five patients have been testing positive for dengue on an average in one day,” said an official from a popular Gurgaon hospital who did not wish to be named.

The figures for dengue-positive patients in the past week vary. In one hospital, it is 32 and in another it is 24, much above the official figures.

The rush is forcing hospitals to turn patients away. “We are helpless, as beds are full,” said a senior doctor. The hospitals give preference to those who need immediate attention. All private hospitals agree that the situation is worrisome, but no one is coming forward to give an exact picture for fear of state authorities.

An administrative officer claimed they had been barred from giving actual numbers. “There is a directive to all hospitals. They are supposed to give all dengue-related data directly to the government. We can’t make the numbers public.”

But off-the-record data give a clear idea the state government is underplaying the figures. The official data says 264 patients have tested positive for dengue; 52 patients are under-treatment and there have been two dengue deaths so far.