28 August 2010
Delhi is facing a dengue outbreak. With 674 cases reported, this year may be worse than 2006 when disease had caused a scare
With 65 new cases reported on Friday, the dengue tally has risen to 674. The National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), which is responsible for monitoring and prevention of vector borne diseases in the country, admits the dengue cases are under–reported in Delhi.
‘‘There is a dengue outbreak in the city. Dengue cases are under–reported as they include the cases which tested positive using the NS–1 antigen test. There are areas like Jamia Nagar which are in the middle of an outbreak,’’ said Dr AC Dhariwal, director, NVBDCP.
City doctors say the MCD is playing down the dengue figures due to the Games. ‘‘Private hospitals are reporting high dengue figures. This needs to be investigated. It is possible a large number of cases are those of viral fever, but reporting by private hospitals must be taken seriously,’’ said a doctor.
Good monsoon, massive construction and cyclic nature of the disease are the main reasons for the increase in dengue cases. The state health department also blames MCD for it. ‘‘MCD woke up very late.
Their breeding checkers were given additional responsibility of checking property tax. Now we are making serious efforts to create public awareness about the disease. Our hospitals are ready to handle dengue cases. We admit there is a dengue outbreak in the city, but the situation is not so serious that it can be termed epidemic,’’ said Kiran Walia, Delhi’s health minister.
MCD officials said till August 14, they had served 45,532 notices and prosecuted 6125 people for mosquito breeding. ‘‘We are taking stringent measures to curb breeding. But rain is a problem,’’ said Dr N K Yadav, MHO at MCD.
With little time left for Commonwealth games, experts suggest that dengue awareness drive should be designed on the lines of Pulse Polio. ‘‘We need to have a dedicated day for dengue awareness. Antilarval medicine should be distributed in public and people should be educated about the disease,’’ said Dr Singh.