New Delhi: Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Tuesday accused Lt Governor Najeeb Jung of "paralysing" the city's health system to deal with vector-borne diseases, at a time when the national capital is grappling with rising cases of chikungunya and dengue which have claimed eight lives this season.
Chikungunya is taking its toll in Delhi, with five deaths due to the vector-borne disease reported in the last two days even as its cases in the city have mounted to over 1,000, triggering blame game among the AAP dispensation, the BJP-ruled three civic bodies and the Centre. The latest death was of a 70-year-old man at AIIMS.
"We had made all the preparations to deal with any outbreak situation four-five months ago, but the Delhi government-appointed Health Secretary was suddenly transferred by the LG.
"And, the new Health Secretary appointed by Jung has been given a 15-day leave at a time when dengue and chikungunya are on the rise. Our health system has been paralysed," Jain told reporters in Delhi.
Slamming all three the BJP-led municipal corporations, the Delhi Health Minister said that civic bodies are responsible for fogging in Delhi to keep mosquitoes away and they have "failed" in their duty.
Alleging that Delhi government officers were not following the instructions, Jain said, "Officers say that Lt Governor will complain against them to the Centre if they follow Delhi government's instructions. LG is terrorising officers and threatening them of sending to jail."
The Minister also blamed media for creating panic among the people about chikungunya and dengue, saying it is "media creation".
"Media has been given the contract (supari) to create panic. Medically, there is no death due to Chikungunya, but media is showing death due to this disease. I want to make it clear that Chikungunya is not fatal. There are 200 deaths in Delhi every day, but nobody asks about it," he told a press conference.
"LG claims that he is the government but where is he, at the time when Delhi is reeling under health crisis," he said.
Asked about the responsibility of an elected government in Delhi when the Centre and LG have all powers, he said that he is doing what he can do as per the rules.
Jain asserted that at present there was no dearth of beds in Delhi government hospitals but said in the wake of sudden spurt in vector-borne diseases, there may be a shortage of beds in near future.
"There is no dearth of beds in government hospitals. There are a total of 40,000 beds in hospitals situated in Delhi and out of this, only 40 per cent of beds are with Delhi government.
"Our hospitals are not refusing to admit patients, but other Centre-run hospitals including AIIMS are not admitting them," he said.
According to the government, there are 262 fever clinics, 106 mohalla clinics and 26 Delhi government hospitals.
Treatment and diagnosis of dengue and chikungunya are available free of cost in all Delhi government Health institutions.
"DHS Control Room has been established and a helpline number 011-22307145 provided for the assistance of general public for guidance and advice on Dengue/Chikungunya fever," he said.