Between June and July this year, at least four people have died due to dengue. This figure is from only four hospitals in the city - Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, Sir Ganga Ram, Jaipur Golden Hospital and Max Hospital in Saket.
Besides, 50 dengue cases have been reported from these hospitals alone. But data procured from the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) revealed that so far this year only five dengue cases have been reported and no deaths.
This data from four of the largest private hospitals in the city reveal that less than one in 10 dengue cases in Delhi are making it to the MCD database. According to the state government's Department of Health Services, the city has 724 hospitals and nursing homes, of which 125 are run by the government and civic agencies.
The last recorded case was that of a 55-year-old man, who died on July 9 at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in central Delhi.
"The man was transferred from another hospital in a critical state. He had been running high fever for three days, his platelet count was very low and he was in a state of shock. Unfortunately, he was too ill to survive," said a senior administrative official at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.
The hospital has treated 14 lab-confirmed dengue cases since this January, compared to 12 in the corresponding period in 2010. Official MCD data, however, had recorded only two cases for the same period last year. By the end of 2010, MCD had recorded 6,259 positive cases, with eight deaths.
"Three people, including an 83-year-old woman, have died of dengue in our hospital. In all, we have had 19 laboratory confirmed cases this year," said Dr DK Baluja, medical director, Jaipur Golden Hospital.
But the civic agency denies that it is deliberately underreporting cases.
"We record all the cases that we are informed about. It's impossible to go to each hospital to get an update every day," said Dr VK Monga, chairman, public health committee, MCD.
"We inform the civic agency of all positive cases and deaths. It makes no sense for a hospital to fudge figures," said a senior doctor at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.