Nine dengue deaths and one chikungunya death over the past fortnight were confirmed by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on Thursday. These are yet to be added to the Municipal Corporations of Delhi’s (MCD) data.
However, according to MCD’s official count till September 10, 4 people had died of dengue and none from chikungunya.
Chikungunya -related deaths in government and private city hospitals add up to 12.
Another 75-year old man died of chikungunya at New Delhi’s Ganga Ram Hospital on Thursday morning. The hospital has 23 chikungunya positive patients admitted currently.
Five people have died of chikungunya in Ganga Ram, five in Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, and one each in AIIMS and Hindu Rao Hospitals. .
AIIMS’ first chikungunya death occurred on Tuesday night when a 54-year-old man from Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar died of multi-organ failure from chikungunya-related complications.
“He was brought to AIIMS with many complications. He had a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a long-term inflammatory lung disease that obstructs the airflow and makes it difficult to breathe. He also had sepsis and septic shock as a result of complications of an infection. He finally died of multi-organ failure,” a senior doctor said. He had a report from a private laboratory confirming it was chikungunya.
The central as well as the state government, which are facing flak for passing the blame and responsibility, have said the viral disease spread to humans by infected mosquitoes is not fatal.
Delhi health minister Satyendra Jain even accused the media of creating panic.
“Please don’t spread panic. Prove it medically (death due to Chikungunya). Medically Chikungunya can never b cause of anyone’s death,” he said.
But the World Health Organization (WHO) data shows that chikungunya outbreaks have caused death across the world. “Serious complications are not common, but in older people, the disease can contribute to the causes of death,” the WHO says on its chikungunya factsheet.
With the nine deaths at AIIMS, the unofficial death toll of dengue has gone up to 17. The Municipal Corporations of Delhi (MCD) have reported only four deaths till September 10.