As many as 382 new cases of dengue were confirmed in the last three days,taking the number of persons affected by the virus this year to 3,298. Till Monday,the civic bodies had confirmed 2,916 cases.
Four dengue deaths have been confirmed so far. Seven other patients who died with symptoms of dengue last month and tested positive for either the antigen or antibody of the virus through the rapid tests,have been listed as suspected dengue deaths by the civic bodies.
This count only includes patients who are testing positive through dengue tests under the ELISA technology,while most private hospitals and several diagnostic laboratories are continuing tests through rapid diagnostic kits.
The civic bodies are following the Centres guidelines,which state that ELISA tests should be the only confirmatory diagnostic for the virus. If the toll of patients who are testing positive through rapid tests are taken into account,the number will multiple by 2-3 times. But rapid tests give a lot of false positives. So even if the patient is symptomatically similar to dengue,and tests positive for the virus through a rapid test,we cannot rely on them, a civic official said.
Meanwhile,with the number of patients rising steeply,hospitals have started reserving beds for dengue patients in departments such as ENT,opthalmology and surgery,to ensure availability of beds.
All routine surgeries have been put on hold… we are only conducting emergency procedures. Though there has not been any official order by the Delhi government,this is the only way to manage the volume of patients, a doctor from East Delhis Lal Bahadur Shastri hospital said. We have started a dedicated fever ward like every year. But,despite that,there is doubling and tripling of beds,so there is no option but to cut the workload of other departments and use as much as infrastructure as possible for dengue patients, a doctor from Lok Nayak hospital said.
Private hospitals have also been issued notices,asking them to increase bed strengths in the dengue and fever wards,by at least 10,particularly to accommodate patients from economically weaker sections.
Areas under North corporation remain the worst affected with 1,538 confirmed cases,followed by those under South and East corporations at 882 and 739,respectively.