Don’t lie to hide dengue deaths, Telangana high court chides government

The state government reports claimed that only eight people had died of dengue between 2014 and September 7, 2019.

Hyderabad: Responding strongly to the submission of the state health department that nobody had died of dengue fever in the state till September 7, this year, the Telangana High Court opined, that the numbers submitted by authorities “may either be false or there had no data available with them regarding dengue and other viral fevers.”

The division bench, comprising Chief Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan and Justice A. Abhishek Reddy, while going through the reports filed by the directorate of public health of Telangana, and the commissioner of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation termed their reports “vague and mismatched, with press reports which had highlighted the issue”.

Expressing concern over the staggering numbers of dengue patients who are thronging all government hospitals located in Hyderabad, while going through reports submitted by the government, the Chief Justice observed that in just seven days, around 1,120 patients have approached hospitals with dengue ailment, which is “miserable”.

The government, in its report, confessed that every year, the number of dengue cases in government hospitals are doubling in GHMC limits.

The CJ further observed, “If the situation continues like this, it would become an adverse impact on Hyderabad city, the capital, the lake city. This will have other serious consequences and repercussions in the future.”

The court found fault with the report of the authorities, which did not specify how many doctors were increased and what infrastructure had been established in each hospital to tackle influx of patients with dengue and other viral fevers.

The government reports claimed that only eight people had died of dengue that too from 2014 to September 7, 2019. It also said dengue cases reported in 2019 are only 3,526, out of which, 348 cases were reported before August 1.

The counsels for petitioners brought to the Court’s notice the contrary statements in the report, wherein on one hand it said that only 751 cases were reported in first seven days of September, but on the other, authorities declared that 1,120 cases were reported in GHMC area alone in those seven days.

The Court also pointed out that absence of details of how many ICU facilities are available in government hospitals to tackle dengue in patients whose platelet counts fell down.

“Did you increase the ICUs or beds in ICUs to treat the pouring patients?” Chief Justice Chauhan asked advocate-general.

Pointing out the failure of GHMC in fogging and spraying insecticides, Justice Reddy questioned, “How it is possible for fogging with 13 mounted fogging machines and 150 portable fogging machines in a city with than a crore citizens living in 150 municipal divisions?”

“We are facing an epidemic. Therefore, we are very serious to know as to how equipped our state machinery is to curtail dengue menace,” he observed. The Chief Justice, while expressing concern over the report, directed the state government to inform the court as to how many private hospitals have opened doors to patients affected by dengue fever and what sort of facilities were available there.

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