Effort to control the dengue outbreak in Delhi — as claimed by the civic authorities and the government — failed to show results on Saturday as three more people died of the disease, taking the death count to 21.
The MCD confirmed 52 new cases in the past 24 hours. With this, the number of dengue cases in Delhi and the national capital region (NCR) has mounted to 795.
Usman Ghani, 42, and Najma, 45, died at AIIMS. At Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, a patient died when Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit was visiting the hospital to take stock of the situation. The hospital denied allegations that Shivanand, 62, died because the doctors were busy making arrangements for her. Medical Superintendent of GTB Hospital, Dr LC Thakur, said, "Shivanand was critical and it is incidental that he died on Saturday afternoon. The CM's visit and his death should not be linked."
The situation in most of the hospitals, meanwhile, continued to be chaotic with patients complaining of lack of facilities and the doctors saying that the huge rush was affecting patients who needed immediate treatment.
Anirudha Kaushal, a Janakpuri resident, had to ferry his three-year-old daughter Isha, who was running high fever, from one hospital to another as he suspected it was dengue. No beds were available at Mata Chanan Devi and Sir Gangaram Hospital sent them home after some treatment.
Dr Nalini Kaur, Medical Director of Sir Gangaram Hospital, said, "People are panicking and turning up at hospitals. We have a bed capacity and we want treatment to start immediately which is why we are re-directing our patients to associated hospitals."
Dr MK Chaturvedi, Medical Superintendent of RML Hospital, said, "We have a huge load of dengue patients and are stressed. Suspected cases should get preliminary investigations done outside. Once they are confirmed dengue positive, they should go to a bigger hospital."
The hospital is treating 184 patients for dengue.
Doctors at AIIMS complained that other hospitals were responsible for the huge rush they have every day. AIIMS spokesman Dr Shakti Gupta said, "We are doing our best but it is difficult to handle 1,000 patients a day. Other hospitals are sending the patients to us." In the past 24 hours, 950 patients were screened at AIIMS and 44 were admitted.
But Health Secretary PK Hota said everything was fine at the hospitals. "The situation is serious. But it is not out of hand. All major hospitals are equipped to handle the rush of patients. There are enough beds, medical supplies, blood and platelets," he said.