Dengue cases in West Bengal so far this year have crossed the 20,000 mark, prompting the state Health Department to issue directions to its staff not to leave their places of posting without prior notice so as to deal with any exigency.
In the past one week alone, as many as 4,744 fresh cases were recorded, it is learnt.
On Friday, 924 new confirmed cases have been detected in the state. A day before, 635 new confirmed cases were reported. At least 828 dengue patients were admitted to government hospitals as of Friday. The total number of patients infected with the vector-borne disease till September 28 was 20,033, an internal report of the department showed.
Also, the state government has set up a control room to monitor the situation.
“To monitor the public health situation during the Puja holidays, a control room is being run from the state headquarters. Such arrangements have also been made in all district headquarters. Hospital authorities and officers of different cadres have been instructed to ensure the presence of the requisite staff,” said Neogi
To combat any exigency keeping in mind the recent dengue surge, all officials of the West Bengal Health Services, West Bengal Medical Education Services, West Bengal Public Health and Administrative Service, assistant superintendents (non-medical) and deputy superintendents (non-medical) of the department and the directorate are instructed not to leave their stations without prior permission of the district health, medical college or de-centralised hospital authorities, the notice issued on September 28 read.
“The officials are also instructed to ensure presence of all the supporting staff required for the purpose of combating any unforeseen situation. The officials concerned and the supporting staff should be available on phone round the clock. It should be ensured that all services at the hospitals, including emergency services, should be maintained and outpatient departments (OPDs) will function on all days except October 2, 3 and 9,” the notification said. A total of 8,117 dengue tests have been done so far.
Director (Health Service) Dr Siddhartha Neogi said, “At least 4,744 cases were detected in the last one week. There was 41% rise in dengue cases. The rise in the number of cases is partly due to an increase in testing also. Test positivity rate has declined by about 2% from the previous week. Murshidabad and Howrah districts have shown some decrease in the fresh cases.”
On Wednesday, Shubo Brahma, 24, of Vishnupalli in East Putiri died of dengue in Kolkata where he was admitted to the Bangur Hospital. The previous day, an elderly woman died of the disease in West Putiri’s Ward 115. A woman from Baguiati area in Bidhannagar also died of dengue the same day.
According to sources, several parts of the Haridevpur and Kudghat areas of the state capital are grappling with dengue outbreak. Also, several people have been diagnosed with dengue in Vishnupalli of East Putiari and Kolkata’s Ward 114. Ward 115 of the city has been identified by the municipality as a “dengue prone” area. Three people have died of dengue in the ward.
Of the 25 dengue fatalities that have taken place in the state, 11 were from Kolkata only.