On top of a raging insurgency and devastating seasonal floods, Pakistan is reeling from a particularly acute outbreak of dengue fever that has left local authorities scrambling to contain the epidemic.
Dengue, a tropical disease primarily transmitted by mosquitoes, has already infected thousands across the country and killed as many as two dozen people, including a local politician. The influx of patients is also straining the healthcare system with some hospitals having to accommodate three patients per bed.
The disease makes regular appearances at this time of year after monsoon rains have provided plenty of breeding sites for mosquitoes, but this year’s outbreak is particularly virulent, especially in Lahore, Pakistan’s second-largest city and capital of Punjab Province, where most of the cases have been reported.
The local government has reacted frantically to the daily increase of cases with a series of measures, but some say the response is inadequate and authorities should have focused more efforts on prevention.
“The chaos we see in the Punjab could have been avoided by taking timely measures,” wrote the Express Tribune in a editorial. “Things have been left too late and the result is mass pandemonium and the confusion that comes with it for millions of people.”
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