Ahead of the winter season, Jammu is displaying a dismal health scenario. While three people have died of Swine Flu, 300 Dengue cases have been registered in the region so far.
This comes when there is hardly a month left in shifting of the secretariat and other offices from Srinagar to the state’s winter capital of Jammu. Sources, however, said the number of people tested positive for Dengue was much more as the figure does not include those visiting private laboratories.
Director of health services, Jammu, Dr Gurjeet Singh, said one person each had died of Swine Flu in Jammu, Rajouri and Ramban districts. Ten more people have been tested positive, he said, adding that they were also gearing up to deal with Influenza, which becomes acute with the fall of temperature during winter. Of the 1,390 patients who have visited hospitals with symptoms of Influenza, over 270 have so far been tested positive since last month.
Till this year, Dengue cases had shown a declining trend after a record 1,838 people were tested positive for the mosquito-borne disease in 2013. There had been only one patient suffering from dengue in Jammu in 2014, according to government data. Except for half a dozen cases each from Samba and Kathua districts and one or two cases each from Udhampur, Rajouri and Poonch, most of the patients have come from Jammu district, said Singh, putting a question mark over the fumigation and cleanliness measures undertaken by the municipal corporation.
Singh attributed the rise in dengue cases to a cycle, wherein the number of patients suffering from this disease increases after few years. He said the department had released anti-larva fish in over 350 water bodies and ponds in rural and urban areas to check the menace.
Jammu Municipal Corporation health officer Dr Anita Salgotra admitted that stagnant water in many places had allowed Dengue mosquitos to breed but said that drains and nullahs were being cleaned on a war footing. “For the last one week, we have ordered fumigation both in the morning and evening across Jammu city and its outskirts,” she said.
The opposition Congress was quick to pounce of the PDP-BJP government and described the situation as “alarming”. Congress said it was time for the Mehbooba Mufti-led government to wake up and understand the gravity of the situation and take all the required measures to save human lives.
Pointing out that the disease had spread in various parts of Jammu and other areas of the region, Congress spokesperson Ravinder Sharma said the authorities were in deep slumber and they had failed to take adequate measures. “Before the situation goes out of control, the government should wake up and involve the entire machinery and resources to deal with the situation, otherwise it would be solely responsible for the loss of precious lives,” Sharma said.