New Delhi: As three people died of chikungunya at a hospital in New Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal chose the easy way out and blamed Modi-led government for failure to contain vector-borne diseases.
As the city reels under a major health crisis, virtually the entire Delhi Cabinet is missing from action as ministers including Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia, Satyendar Jain, Gopal Rai and Imran Hussain are out of station.
While the Chief Minister is scheduled to undergo a throat operation in Bengaluru today, his deputy Sisodia is in Finland to study its education system.
Jain, who holds the Health portfolio, is touring poll-bound Goa, Rai is in Chhattisgarh and Hussain is on Haj pilgrimage. Only Water minister Kapil Mishra is stationed in the national capital.
Kejriwal shrugged off all responsibility and pointed out that even Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung is not in the capital. Through a series of tweets, Kejriwal said, ''AAP has also blamed the BJP-dominated Municipal Corporation of Delhi or MCD, with Law minister Kapil Mishra asking where Delhi's "mayor has disappeared".
Three people died of chikangunya on Monday, the first deaths from that disease in the capital. At least 10 people have died of dengue and malaria and hospitals overflowing with sick people.
65-year-old Ramendra Pandey died of chikungunya at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, in what could be the first such death in the national capital. The other two deaths also took place at the same hospital and both victims were aged above 60 as well, hospital authorities said.
"Uday Shanker of Dwarka was admitted on September 11 and he died on September 12. His RT-PCR test for chikungunya had come positive. He had come to our OPD and then admitted.”
"Ashok Chauhan, 62, from Aligarh also died of chikungunya yesterday. He too was admitted in ICU on September 11 and his RT-PCR test came positive," a senior official of the hospital said.
Pandey, who was referred from a Ghaziabad hospital, had succumbed to the disease at the hospital at 4 am after suffering chikungunya with sepsis.
Incidentally, one suspected chikungunya death has also been reported at the AIIMS, but hospital authorities are yet to confirm it. "We are yet to confirm if the death was due to chikungunya. But till then it is a suspected case," AIIMS spokesperson Amit Gupta said.
According to reports, the "chikungunya death" at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences took place sometime in September and five persons have also "died of dengue" this month.
Chikungunya cases in the national capital have sharply risen to over 1,000 this season, marking a jump of nearly 90 per cent from its count last week.
According to a municipal report released yesterday, at least 1,057 cases of this vector-borne disease have been recorded till September 10, however, hospitals in the city altogether are reporting much higher number.
Authorities at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital said, Pandey was kept under the care of a senior specialist in the Department of Medicine and a team of doctors from the Internal Medicine-ICU.
Lalit Dar of Department of Microbiology at AIIMS said, "At our laboratories, 1,360 chikungunya blood test samples have tested positive till yesterday. Cases are rising and more and more people are getting affected."
Doctors say that chikungunya is not a life-threatening disease in general, but in rare cases leads to complications that prove fatal, especially in children and old persons.
Sisodia said officials of the Delhi government were busy following the "LG's instructions" of going through the files of the past 18 months and sending these to him.
"Officers do not come to meetings called by ministers. They remain away from their offices throughout the day. If the country has reporters who are not in the 'Modi school of journalism', they should decide who the government is--LG or Chief Minister.”
"If they believe LG has all the powers in Delhi then he should be held responsible in these cases. Where did the LG disappear after putting useless and lazy officers at the helm of the Health department in the city," the Deputy CM said in a series of tweets.
The Delhi High Court, in its August 4 verdict, had held that the Lt Governor was the administrative head of the national capital, thus rejecting the AAP government's contention that the Governor was bound to act only on the aid and advice of the CM and his council of ministers....