THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Even as the capital faces a war-like situation battling dengue, not even a single case of dengue was confirmed on Sunday as the Public Health Laboratory and Medical College did not despatch any test result. Also, Health Centres barring the ones with two or more doctors remained close on Sunday despite several fever deaths being reported this week. Only taluk hospitals, General Hospitals and certain PHCs functioned as usual.
Just around 48 suspected cases of dengue were reported in the city through the daily monitoring system of the Directorate of Health Services (DHS) on Sunday as against 186 on the previous day. “There is no one to despatch results from the Public Health Laboratory and Medical College on holidays. Only those results that come positive after the Elisa test method is accepted as a confirmed dengue case by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and DHS,” said a senior health official.
“Almost all private hospitals use a rapid card screening method which is less cost effective unlike the ELISA test that requires screening of samples on 94 wells. This accurate test is run only in the government set up as we get bulk samples unlike private hospitals. Hence, most of the 48 suspected cases reported on Sunday would have been from private hospitals,” the official added. Health Minister K.K. Shylaja could not be reached for a comment. Meanwhile, DHS doctors claimed they were already under pressure – more than usual – as the Outpatient timing has been extended from 1pm earlier to 5pm due to excess number of fever cases.