Dengue claims second life in Mumbai

None | ByAditya Ghosh and Naresh Kamath, Mumbai
Oct 17, 2006 10:38 PM IST

Teenage girl dies at Nanavati after battling the disease for a week, reports Aditya Ghosh and Naresh Kamath.

Dengue claimed its second victim on Tuesday when a 17-year-old girl from Charkop, Kandivali (West) succumbed to the disease.

HT Image
HT Image

Ironically, Naha Rane lived three buildings away from BMC deputy Mayor Ramesh Medekar’s Apartment in Charkop’s sector 5. The seventeen-year-old succumbed to the deadly dengue haemorrhaging fever at the Nanavati Hospital. Immediately after her death, the locality in which she resided saw a flurry of activity by civic officials including fogging and spraying of insecticides. But locals said it was a case of bolting the stable door after the animal had bolted.

“Both her IgG and IgM tests were positive for dengue. She was brought in high fever and convulsion and it was late by then. She had already developed renal failure and her blood pressure was also very low. She finally succumbed on Monday night,” said Mohan Desai, medical director of Nanavati Hospital.
“We are declaring it as dengue death and have notified BMC accordingly as well,” he added.

BMC, in turn, is now blaming the general practitioner for the death. “ The GP should have immediately advised her to get admitted in a hospital. The delay cost the girl her life. The hospital was not at fault,” said Jayraj Thanekar, BMC executive health officer.

The BMC has denied that Jagdish Shinde died due to dengue on Monday.

Room number 31 of Lavan Kush Cooperative Housing Society wore a gloomy look as they mourned Naha’s death. A final year junior commerce college student of Nalanda College at Gorai, she was suffering from fever for two weeks and was admitted to a local nursing home on Friday. As her condition deteriorated, she was shifted to Nanavati on Sunday morning.

“My daughter died due to BMC’s callousness. They never bothered to take precautionary measures in the area in spite of repeated requests. Until it strikes their homes and their daughters, they will never do anything,” said Neha’s distraught mother, Sheetal. Neha was the elder daughter of Sheetal and Nitin. 

In turn, Thanekar told Hindustan Times that a lot of fumigation and other measures like health camps had been undertaken at Charkop. “This is just an isolated case. She could have contracted it anywhere” said Thanekar.

“There cannot be any consolation to our daughter’s death. It is a crime committed by the BMC. They are busy covering up that there is no case in Mumbai,” said a tearful Nitin.

Despite letters dated August 12 and August 16 from the society (a copy of which HT has in its possession) warning BMC of such diseases and urging them to take precautionary measures, nothing was done till Tuesday, alleged local residents.

“It was complacency of the BMC that caused the death. BMC did not do anything till day. Sewerage work is incomplete and stagnant and filthy water remains exposed. We have to cross this to enter our homes,” claimed Mangesh Hadpe, a resident of the same society.

“Despite the deputy mayor living here and repeated appeals to all concerned, no one bothered to even complete the sewerage work where water is accumulating all the time,” said Hariom Bapu, another local resident and the secretary of the society.

On Tuesday afternoon, the BMC workers faced the ire of locals after reaching the spot with fumigation machines. Not only that the machines were seized by the angry local residents, they were not allowed to leave for over two hours. 

A local pathological laboratory which had done the preliminary tests, had suggested dengue on the basis of a low platelet count. The proprietor of Sadichcha Pathological laboratory, claimed that there were at least five more cases of dengue and a few chikungunia cases in the locality.

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