Hospitals on Saturday confirmed four more dengue deaths during the week, taking Delhi’s unofficial toll to 22 even as fresh showers threaten to spur mosquito breeding and intensify the outbreak.
Children continue to be the worst hit with three of the four victims being younger than 18 years of age.
Three of the four deaths occurred at Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, where Mohd. Shewaj (11), Kiran Kumari (12) and Rahisha (37) died of multi-organ failure on Thursday. Rishabh (17) died at Max Hospital, Vaishali.
To date, the central government-run RML hospital has confirmed 547 dengue cases and six deaths.
Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain confirmed a total of 11 dengue deaths as of Wednesday, while official corporation data puts it at five as of September 12.
Fresh data from the corporation will be out on Monday.
Fearing a spurt in mosquito breeding, the Union health ministry issued an advisory to the Delhi government, which stated, “In view of rains on Saturday morning and Indian Meteorology Department’s forecast, there is a possibility of water stagnation in containers, disposed plastic and junk materials that give rise to breeding of Aedes mosquitoes. As presently in Delhi and neighbouring areas, circulation of dengue virus is going on, it is advised that vector control measures be intensified to contain the problem.”
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Meanwhile, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, which has been under fire for failing to control mosquito breeding despite alerts of a potential dengue outback in the beginning of the year, appears to be ramping up measures.
“We had a fumigation drive on Saturday and another one will take place tomorrow in the 104 wards of the north corporation. We are focussing on schools and other educational institutions, because, children have lower immunity,” said Yogendar Maan, MCD spokesperson."The fumigation of public areas started late from September 1 because it is a health hazard and should be done only sparingly. So, we started fumigating roads and other public areas when the dengue numbers started increasing," he said. The Delhi government also directed 55 dispensaries to run fever clinics from Monday. They are to remain open from 7am to 9pm on all days, including Sundays and public holidays, with staff working in shifts.
Doctors and the paramedic staff of these clinics have been asked to ensure that those who require hospitalisation are shifted to the nearest hospital, and others are medically evaluated and sent home with relevant medical advice.
The Delhi government-run Lok Nayak Hospital also has plans to increase the bed strength of its fever clinic to 250 from the current 92 beds.
“Hundred more beds will be available from Sunday All elective surgeries have been cancelled so that beds and staff can be diverted to the fever clinic,” said an administrative official.
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