Dengue crisis: Govt scrambles to add beds, open fever clinics

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Sep 15, 2015 00:44 IST

The Delhi government has started a 24x7 helpline to provide dengue information and directed all government hospitals to open fever clinics to treat patients suspected to have dengue.

When HT tried calling the helpline (011-23307145), all lines were busy till late at night.

As the city grapples with its worst dengue outbreak in five years, 1,000 beds were added to the 10,994 existing beds across all Delhi government hospitals on Sunday.

“In the view of a rise in dengue cases, I have ordered officials to add 1,000 new beds within the next three or four days. If hospitals lack space, the new beds can be kept in lobbies or wherever space is available,” said Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain, who also met MCD officials on Monday.

The BJP-dominated Municipal Corporations of Delhi (MCDs) have also announced a spate of measures.

North Delhi Municipal Corporation announced the addition of 110 beds in Bara Hindu Rao Hospital, which currently has 370 beds and 15 in Kasturba Hospital, which has 60 beds.

Jain has also directed 27 AAP MLAs who chair Rogi Kalyan Committees in government hospitals to visit hospitals twice a day to ensure there are no shortages of medicine and testing kits and no one is turned away.

With rising cases, the blame game has also begun. AAP’s Jain said the rise in the number of cases was not because of lack of efforts on the part of the Delhi government but because the MCDs failed to fumigate or check houses for breeding.

“Delhi gives the MCD Rs 100-crore to prevent vector-borne diseases, they have to do the work,” said Jain. “The Delhi government started preparation for dengue three months before the disease hit because we were aware it is a cyclic disease and is likely to affect more people this year.”

Delhi mayor Ravinder Gupta refuted the allegation. “This season, we have checked 1.42 crore houses and fumigated 2.55 lakh houses. We are doing our duty,” he said, adding that homes where owners do not allow people in cannot be checked or fumigated.

The issue became political after the parents of a seven-year-old, who died of dengue after being denied admission in five private hospitals, committed suicide on Friday.

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