October 26, 2021 7:31:13 am
WITH THE death of 54-year-old Hemraj from Jharon Patti area of Longowal in Punjab’s Sangrur district, the suspected dengue toll has reached four in this small municipal committee where 140 patients suffering from fever have gotten themselves tested in the past three days. Twenty of these 140 were randomly tested for Covid as well, of which one was found to be positive. Otherwise, Sangrur had 0 Covid cases for the past many days.
Out of 140 patients, reports of 107 cases have come and 20 were found to be suffering from dengue while the rest were having dengue-like symptoms and were thus termed as suspected cases.
However, looking at the rising fever cases in the state, Dr Rajesh Bhaskar, Covid nodal officer, Punjab, said: “We will be sending written directions to all districts to test all fever patients for dengue as well as Covid. No doubt the types of virus in both cases are different, but dengue patients have fever, body aches to begin with while in Covid it is fever, breathing problems, body ache. Hence we cannot take fever cases lightly.”
Meanwhile, questions have been raised in the Longowal area where three members of a family died in a week due to suspected dengue. The area had 140 fever cases and only 20 were tested for Covid. The deceased were Prem Singh (85), Didar Singh (43) and Gurvinder Singh (26). Two more relatives of Prem Singh are also recovering from dengue, said Dr Anju Singa, SMO Longowal.
She said, “Results of 23 samples are pending and the rest have come out. Now the situation is improving in the area and all patients are recovering. Hem Raj was admitted to DMCH on October 22 and passed away on Sunday. One patient was found Covid positive in this area.”
The total count of dengue patients in Punjab reached 12,783 on Sunday. This number was 11,755 till October 22. Thus, 1,028 new cases have been reported on October 23 and 24 alone, of which 439 were reported on Sunday and 589 Saturday. So far the department has not officially attributed even a single death to dengue, calling all of them ‘suspected’ dengue deaths only. So far, a total of 33,134 samples of suspected dengue patients have been collected at all major government and private hospitals of Punjab.
Sources said that even the number of suspected cases may not be accurate and the actual number could be much higher because many people are not even getting tested for dengue and are taking treatment from local practitioners/RMPs and indulging in self-medication. Hence, questions have been raised as to why the Punjab government is not getting all suspected dengue patients tested for Covid as well.
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