In the wake of sudden rise in cases of dengue and other vector-borne diseases in the national capital, the Delhi government today said there was “no need to panic” and the administration was “adequately equipped” to handle any situation. As per the latest municipal report, the number of people affected by dengue this year till August 5, has climbed to 365 with 117 cases being recorded in last month only.
The number of malaria and chikungunya cases stand at 337 and 246 respectively while four deaths due to swine flu have been registered in Delhi this year. “We appeal to the people that they should not panic. We have stocked up enough medicines and the administration is adequately equipped to handle any situation,” Health Minister Satyendar Jain told the Delhi Assembly.
He also asserted the percentage of patients succumbing to swine flu in other states such as Maharashtra and Rajasthan were much higher compared to that in Delhi, and advised people not to rush for hospitalisation without consulting doctors. “In case of swine flu (H1N1), only C-category patients, the high-risk category, need to take medical test. We have stocked sufficient medicine and also have the required number of beds to handle inflow of patients.
“Besides, this time we have changed the category of swine flu medicine so that any registered chemist shop can sell it on prescription of a doctor, unlike before when it was difficult to procure it,” Jain said.
An awareness campaign for prevention of vector-borne diseases would soon be launched, the minister said. According to the vector-borne diseases report released by the civic bodies, in July, 94 cases of malaria and 42 of chikungunya were recorded.
Of the 365 dengue cases diagnosed here, 185 of the affected people were residents of Delhi while the rest of the cases were from other states, it said.
The season for the vector-borne diseases kicked in mid-July and it generally lasts till November-end. Cases of all the three vector-borne diseases were reported much earlier this time, which doctors had attributed to early arrival of monsoon.
Dengue and chikungunya are caused by aedes agypti mosquito, which breeds in clear water. Anopheles mosquito, which causes malaria, can breed in both fresh and muddy water.
According to the report, breeding of mosquitoes has been reported at 80,411 households in Delhi. All the three municipal corporations have stepped up awareness drives –distributing pamphlets and plying vehicles with loudspeakers issuing dos and don’ts for prevention of the diseases.
The Delhi government had on June 23 instructed state-run and private hospitals, and nursing homes to increase their bed capacity by up to 20 per cent for the next six months to deal with any possible outbreak of dengue and chikungunya.
The government has banned over-the-counter sale of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin and brufen as their use may “pose a threat” to dengue and chikungunya patients.
At least 15 fatalities were reported last year at various hospitals in the city due to complications triggered by chikungunya though the civic bodies have kept the death tally at zero.
At least 21 deaths due to dengue were reported last year at various hospitals, including nine at AIIMS, though the official tally of the civic bodies stood at 10. Seventeen deaths suspected to be due to malaria in 2016 were also reported by the civic bodies. In one of the worst outbreaks, a total of 12,221 chikungunya cases were reported in Delhi till December 24, 2016, out of which 9,749 were confirmed.