As chikungunya continues to scare the capital with three deaths reported in the last 24 hours, the Delhi government has said there is no cause for panic.
The government issued a statement on Tuesday, saying the health institutions were fully prepared to deal with the situation. The assurance comes at a time when the number of chikungunya and dengue cases is spiralling and the government is managing without the chief minister, health minister and the principal health secretary.
Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal is in Bengaluru for his throat surgery and health minister Satyendar Jain has gone to Goa for party work. Principal health secretary Chandraker Bharti is also on leave till September 16.
“Department of Health has already dedicated an additional 1000 beds for fever patients in three major hospitals - Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital, Janakpuri Super Speciality Hospital and Deep Chand Bandhu Hospital. The government has established fever clinics in its 26 hospitals, 262 government dispensaries and 106 Aam Aadmi Mohalla Clinics to cater to fever patients,” said the statement.
A helpline number has been started (011-22307145) to provide assistance and advice on dengue and chikungunya fever. The treatment and lab diagnosis of dengue and chikungunya is free in government hospitals.
A total of 1,057 chikungunya cases and 1,158 dengue cases have been reported in Delhi this season though the municipal corporations have been accused of underreporting the cases. Many hospitals across the city are handling more patients than they can accommodate.
The government on Tuesday said the first instalment of funds had already been allocated to the three municipal corporations even though they did not ask for it.
Further, the Nursing Home Division has allowed all private hospitals/nursing homes to increase the bed strength up to 20% of their approved bed strength on a temporary basis for three months. The hospitals have been told that they cannot levy more than 50% of the lowest economic category tariff on additional beds.
The government has put a ceiling price for dengue/chikungunya test at Rs 600. The real time test for chikungunya is fixed at Rs 1500, and for platelets at Rs 50. The over-the-counter sale of NSAID drugs, which include diclofenac, ibuprofen and aspirin, has also been restricted.