With health officials maintaining that the situation is “under control” and the Government Medical College and Rajindra Hospital authorities allegedly turning patients away, people reporting dengue-like symptoms have nowhere to go.
According to the health department, 404 cases of dengue fever have been reported in the city this year till date, while sources say that 50 to 60 cases are reported at Rajindra Hospital every day, beginning in September.
Sources alleged that the fear of drawing flak from the Punjab government has made the health officials show figures lower than the actual.
Meanwhile, dengue patients alleged that they were being denied services at the hospital, which was turning them away.
However, the two wards at the hospital, designated as 'dengue wards', are full, with patients being asked to share beds.
Vicky, a dengue patient said, “I have been asked to share my bed with others. Many patients are sitting outside as beds are not available.”
Hospital sources said 12 dengue-related deaths had been reported so far, but the authorities concerned refused to comment.
While the World Health Organisation (WHO) says that fever with thrombocytopenia (low platelet count) is counted as dengue, the hospital authorities reportedly count only cases with extremely high fever.
Tripari, Ratan Nagar, Anand Nagar and Bindra Colony have been affected the most, due to water-logging issues.
While initially dengue was confined to residential areas on the outskirts of the city, it has now spread to the entire city, with cases reported from Lal Bagh, Rajpura Colony, Vishawanagar and parts of the walled city.
Alleging negligence on the part of the municipal corporation (MC) and the health department officials, residents rue that their entire colonies have been affected, with “at least one patient in every house”, yet they were being denied medical facilities.
District health officer Dr Harsh Malhotra said, “Urban cluster residential areas are the worst affected, and rural areas being cleaner were not affected much.”
He added that there were four types of dengue - with fever, with bleeding tendency, dengue shock syndrome, and dengue with haemorrhage fever.
“Of the four types, only the first type is being reported, so there is no need to panic,” he claimed.
Health department officials alleged that the “apathetic attitude” of the MC was to blame, as they failed to conduct fogging on time, so most of the houses had larvae breeding in them.
Till date, in spite of the increasing number of dengue cases, fogging was being carried out sluggishly in the affected areas, they added, while residents said they were yet to see fogging machines in the area.
With many of the beds lying empty in the emergency ward and patients sharing beds in the dengue wards, a question is raised over the treatment of the nearly 60 suspected dengue cases that are reported every day.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a doctor said new patients were being turned away as there was a shortage of care-providers due to the strike of nursing and paramedical and Class 4 employees. Those already admitted before the strike were being made to share beds as there was a space crunch.
Year cases reported
2013 404(According to health department )
2750 approx(According to hospital sources)
Alleged dengue-related deaths-12