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Dengue spikes in Punjab with 652 cases in two days

The last two days alone (October 25 and 26) have seen 652 cases reported.

punjab Updated: Oct 28, 2017 09:26 IST
Anil Sharma
Anil Sharma
Hindustan Times, Tarn Taran
Health department data says 6,771 cases have been reported till date this year. That’s an average of 23 cases a day.
Health department data says 6,771 cases have been reported till date this year. That’s an average of 23 cases a day. (HT File )

With alarm bells ringing from Kerala to New Delhi over the rapidly increasing cases of dengue, it’s no different in Punjab. The last two days alone (October 25 and 26) have seen 652 cases reported.

Health department data says 6,771 cases have been reported till date this year. That’s an average of 23 cases a day. This is lower than last year that saw 10,149 cases — an average of 28 a day. As for deaths, there have been 12 suspected dengue deaths. The number was 15 last year.

But the numbers may rise as conditions remain favourable for breeding of the mosquitoes that carry the virus. “September and October are months when dengue spreads at a high rate. This is why we have launched several programmes for public awareness,” said Dr Gagandeep Singh Grover, state programme officer for National Vector-Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), over phone from Chandigarh.

Health experts from Tarn Taran, which has seen the fewest cases, say most dengue infections take place because of pools of water inside houses. The dengue larvae takes 7-10 days to develop into an adult, thus, if care is taken to remove all breeding places at least once a week, the spread can be controlled to a large degree, say experts.

HC puts Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh on notice

The Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday put governments of Punjab and Haryana and the Chandigarh administration on notice on a suo motu petition initiated on spread of dengue and deaths due to the vector-borne disease.

The HC took note of news reports including some carried in Hindustan Times, and observed that it appeared health departments of respective states and UT are not at all equipped to tackle the disease. The responses have been sought by November 2.

“The court intends to take stern action against those who are found failing in discharging their statutory duties and public law obligations.”

“The weakest and lowest sections of the society are more vulnerable. The state government are not taking adequate steps to prevent this epidemic at this stage,” it said. The HC observed that there was gross dereliction of duty on the part of authorities concerned, which are not taking steps for prevention and control of the dengue epidemic at the appropriate time.

“The authorities are in a total state of unpreparedness to tackle or manage the situation causing great inconvenience to the public,” justice Amit Rawal, who had taken note had said stressing that there is need to establish a dengue control programme with regular budgetary provisions.

“The court intends to take stern action against those who are found failing in discharging their statutory duties and public law obligations,” justice Rawal had stated.

The news report taken note of by HC had stated that in Mohali 1,759 suspected cases had been reported, of which 1,112 had tested positive. Three deaths had also been reported. In 2016, 2,088 cases were reported with four deaths, the reports had stated.

Another report taken note of had stated this year 1,423 cases had been reported till October 25 in Haryana with 240 cases in Rohtak, 182 in Fatehabad and 103 cases in Panchkula.