Six more deaths from chikungunya complications were reported on Wednesday in Delhi, taking to 11 the number of fatalities due to the vector-borne disease in the national capital that is grappling with a severe health crisis.
All five deaths have taken place at Apollo Hospital and one died in AIIMS. Most of the victims admitted in Apollo were aged 80 or above.
“We have had five deaths in the past three weeks of patients with chikungunya fever, most of whom were elderly. 80-year-old Mahendra Singh from Ghaziabad died of chikungunya complications yesterday afternoon,” hospital authorities said.
“He was diagnosed positive for chikungunya through RT-PCR test. He died of multi-organ failure triggered by complications from the disease,” they said.
Chikungunya is taking its toll in the national capital where the number of cases have climbed to over 1,000 this season and fever clinics are getting swamped with rush of patients.
“Most of them had associated co-morbid disease conditions and complications like chronic kidney disease, coronary artery disease, which affect the course of recovery,” the hospital said.
Five deaths from chikungunya were reported till yesterday in the city that is battling a viral onslaught of this disease after nearly 10 years. Four of these deaths took place at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH).
Doctors say that chikungunya is not a life-threatening disease in general, but in rare cases leads to complications that prove fatal, especially in children and old persons.
Incidentally, one suspected chikungunya death has also been reported at AIIMS, but hospital authorities are yet to confirm it. According to reports, the “chikungunya death” at the AIIMS took place sometime in September.
According to a municipal report released yesterday, at least 1,057 cases of this vector-borne disease have been recorded till September 10.
Meanwhile, amid the blame game over chikungunya deaths in the national capital, the Aam Aadmi Party today called for “bridging gaps” between the Delhi government and the BJP-ruled civic bodies and underlined the need to “rise above politics” in tackling the health crisis.
Delhi Water Minister Kapil Mishra quoted Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal as having said “no matter what”, the various agencies and political parties will have to work together to tackle chikungunya that has so far claimed at least 10 lives in Delhi this season.
This came a day after Kejriwal said Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung and Prime Minister Narendra Modi should be “questioned” over the issue as “all powers” regarding the city’s governance “rest with them”.