As the total number of dengue cases touched the 450 mark in Delhi on Monday, state health minister Ashok Kumar Walia made it mandatory for 53 government and private hospitals — which have blood separator machines and blood banks — to work round-the-clock to ensure continuous production and supply of platelets.
Patients have complained that they are finding it difficult to procure platelets.
The government said that eight more hospitals will provide diagnostic, treatment and blood collection facilities. With this, the number of such centres has gone up to 41. There are 53 blood banks in Delhi — 14 government and 39 private.
Around 30 dengue cases are being reported in Delhi every day. The municipal corporations in south and north Delhi have reported about 170 cases each. East Delhi has accounted for 75 cases. Cases have also been reported from New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and Delhi Cantonment areas.
So far, one death has been reported. Last year, Delhi saw 216 cases and three deaths. In 2010, there were 4,108 cases and five deaths. In 2009, there were 29 dengue cases and no death. In 2008, there were 550 dengue cases and two deaths.
Walia on Monday reviewed the steps being taken to check dengue and directed that extra manpower, if required, be deployed to ensure continuous production and supply of platelets to patients of the mosquito-borne disease.
The need for blood has gone up in hospitals because of the peak dengue season, but all hospitals claim there is no shortage.
The Delhi government-run Deen Dayal Upadhyay (DDU) hospital does about 25-30 platelet transfusions daily. “We had to recently deploy two extra staff members from other departments as blood component separation takes a lot of time. We are also a regional blood bank centre and also provide blood to other hospitals. We have enough blood,” added Dr Promila Gupta, medical superintendent, DDU.
Walia, however, said that the growing number of dengue cases could be attributed to the fact that all hospitals and nursing homes — even those on the Capital’s outskirts — have been strictly told to report all cases they are dealing with.
Walia directed the health officials of Delhi government and civic bodies to raise awareness with regard to prevention and control of dengue through mass-media, public representatives and school children. Directions have also been issued to civic bodies to carry out fogging across the city.