Thirty new dengue cases were reported on Monday, while the Delhi government and the MCD — the nodal body to control the mosquito-born menace — blamed each other for the uncertainty about the exact numbers.
According to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), the total number of confirmed cases of the vector-borne disease is 588.
While the MCD is maintaining that their records are “foolproof”, the Delhi health ministry does not seem satisfied.
“The MCD had no answers when I asked them basic questions relating to dengue data such as how many hospitals report cases to them, timeline, zonal break up,” Kiran Walia, Delhi Health Minister, told HT.
This was after the health minister had a two-hour meeting with officials from the civic body and the Delhi Government as well as heads of government and private hospitals in the city.
The meeting was called to find ways to maintain database on dengue cases and also curb the spread of the disease.
“Dengue cases this year are much lower than previous years. The mechanism of reporting cases has been the same and we have nothing to hide,” said Dr NK Yadav, the MCD’s chief medical officer.
“Unless they have a proper database of reported dengue cases, it will be difficult to establish from which area or zone are most cases being reported. Random precautionary measures are useless,” said the health minister, insisting on a focused attitude to tackle the spreading of the disease.
“Our job is to curb the menace and not maintaining data. We report what the hospitals report to us,” said Dr Yadav.
“Precaution is the best thing and that is what we are trying to do,” Dr Yadav told the health minister, when asked by the health minister as to what they were doing to curb the menace.
As an immediate measure, the health minister has instructed three Delhi government hospitals — Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital, Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital and Headgewar Hospital — to prepare and formulate the blood platelets to meet immediate platelet crises.
“The Emergency in all hospitals will be made operational round the clock to take care of dengue patients. Elaborate arrangements of medicines will be made,” said Walia.
Walia has also instructed all private hospitals to furnish regular reports of dengue patients failing in which strict prosecutions as per provision will be made.
Medical superintendents of all private and public hospitals have also been directed to keep sufficient blood in their blood banks.
The civic body was also asked to gear up its machinery to combat dengue fever and to issue challans to violators.
Councillors express concern
The rising cases of dengue in the city has led to municipal councillors raising concerns over the Municipal Corporation of Delhi’s ability to tackle the viral disease.
BJP councillor Jitender Singh Shunty pointed out that out of all metropolitan cities only Delhi still faced rising number of dengue cases.
“I have collected data from all private nursing homes and hospitals as well as government hospitals on the number of dengue cases reported so far. The number stands at 2,153 and the maximum cases have been reported from GTB hospital,” he said.
“The MCD did not carry out fogging properly and in a timely manner leading to rise in dengue cases.”
“Increased construction activity in the city due to Commonwealth Games has led to increased breeding as stagnant pools of water are usually found around such sites," said Mayor Kanwar Sain.
Opposition leader JK Sharma alleged that the MCD did not have enough fogging machines and has had to hire machines to carry out fogging.