New Delhi: Lt Governor Najeeb Jung on Wednesday asked Delhi government and civic bodies to mount full efforts to tide over the growing incidences of dengue and chikungunya, appealing all to rise above political considerations to deal with vector-borne diseases which have claimed several lives this season.
Within hours of returning from United States in the afternoon, Jung, who also faced criticism for being away from the capital for ten days, held a high-level meeting to review the situation related to spread of vector-borne diseases.
Delhi Health Secretary Chandrakar Bharti, who was also on a 15-day leave, cut short his holidays and on Wednesday joined back to work owing to sudden spurt in such cases.
The Lt Governor on Wednesday took stock of the situation and got feedback from medical superintendents of major hospitals in Delhi and also about the steps taken by Health Department to tide over the current situation.
The Rogi Kalyan Samiti is working round the clock and is making ORS available in hospitals.
Jung directed the Health Department and MS of hospitals present, to ensure that hospitals, clinics and laboratories do not turn away any critical case of Chikungunya or Dengue.
He added that though the hospitals and staff are under tremendous pressure, they must rise to the occasion to meet the challenge.
He also directed the municipal agencies to mount full scale efforts to check mosquito breeding and follow a targeted approach, based on pockets of high incidence and to carry out planned fumigation in vulnerable areas.
Lt Governor directed all stakeholders - the health department and municipal bodies to generate more robust awareness about prevention and cure through advertisements, radio spots, circulation of pamphlets/posters, particularly in neighbourhoods, especially those which are more vulnerable. He urged them to use advertisements to spread awareness, informing people of the dos and don'ts.
In the wake of a sudden spurt in chikungunya and dengue cases, the Delhi government ordered municipal corporations to inspect all construction sites for breeding of mosquitoes within two days, and cancelled leaves of doctors and paramedical staff of its hospitals and dispensaries.
Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain, who on Wednesday reviewed the steps taken for prevention of vector-borne diseases and preparedness for treating people affected by it, expressed disappointment over fogging drives carried out by the BJP-controlled civic bodies and directed them to do it effectively across the city.
"The government has asked all civic bodies in Delhi to check all construction sites and challan the owners of those sites causing breeding of mosquito.
"Besides, we have also cancelled leaves of all doctors and nurses working at Delhi government hospitals and dispensaries so that patients don't face any problem," Jain told reporters in Delhi.
He said that the government has ordered its hospitals not to refuse to admit any patient with suspected dengue and chikungunya. There is no dearth of beds in Delhi government hospital, he added.
"At Out Patient Departments (OPDs) of hospitals and dispensaries, about 2 lakh patients are being treated every day. The figure before the season of dengue and chikungunya was one lakh.
"At government hospitals, about 2,000 beds are lying vacant. The situation at our hospitals is better," the Health Minister said.
He said that the test for chikungunya are being done at government hospitals at free of cost.
The number of fatalities from the vector-borne disease rises to 10, as the national capital that is battling a severe viral onslaught.
As of Thursday, SGRH has 23 patients of chikungunya admitted in the hospital, two of them in intensive-care unit (ICU).
All five deaths have taken place at Apollo Hospital and most of the victims were aged 80 or above.
"We have had five deaths in the past three weeks of patients with chikungunya fever, most of whom were elderly.
80-year-old Mahendra Singh from Ghaziabad died of chikungunya complications yesterday afternoon," hospital authorities said.
"He was diagnosed positive for chikungunya through RT-PCR test. He died of multi-organ failure triggered by complications from the disease," they said.
Chikungunya is taking its toll in the national capital where the number of cases have climbed to over 1,000 this season and fever clinics are getting swamped with rush of patients.
"Most of them had associated co-morbid disease conditions and complications like chronic kidney disease, coronary artery disease, which affect the course of recovery," the hospital said.
Five deaths from chikungunya were reported till Tuesday in the city that is battling a viral onslaught of this disease after nearly 10 years. Four of these deaths took place at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH).
75-year-old Prakash Kalra of Mathura died last evening at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, where three other elderly persons succumbed to the vector-borne disease on Monday.
"He (Kalra) was brought to our hospital in a very aggressive stage of disease, having suffered kidney failure.
He was admitted yesterday in the ICU and his chikungunya RT-PCR test had come positive," SGRH authorities said.
A 22-year-old girl died of cardiac arrest triggered by chikungunya complications at Hindu Rao Hospital. Isha, from Kabir Nagar, had died on September 1, officials said.
65-year-old Ramendra Pandey, referred to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital from a Ghaziabad hospital, had died of chikungunya with sepsis on Monday.
"Uday Shanker (61) of Dwarka was admitted on September 11 and he died on September 12. And, Ashok Chauhan, 62, from Aligarh also died of chikungunya on Monday. He too was admitted in ICU on September 11 and his RT-PCR test came positive," SGRH authorities said.
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.
Incidentally, one suspected chikungunya death has also been reported at AIIMS, but hospital authorities are yet to confirm it. According to reports, the "chikungunya death" at the AIIMS took place sometime in September.
According to a municipal report released on Tuesday, at least 1,057 cases of this vector-borne disease have been recorded till September 10.
Incidentally, mayors of North Delhi and South Delhi were conspicuous by their absence in the capital. North Delhi Mayor Sanjeev Nayyar is out of country while South Delhi Mayor Shyam Sharma is out of Delhi, a senior civic official said.
While hospitals in Delhi have reported at least nine deaths from dengue this year and 10 from chikungunya, including one this evening, the civic bodies have acknowledged only four deaths from dengue and fatalities from chikungunya are still unaccounted.
Simultaneously, Delhi government ordered a probe into the chikungunya deaths. Sources said the probe would seek to find the exact cause of death. Jain had also accused the Lt Governor of "paralysing" the health system in Delhi....