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Dengue cases soar past 4,500 in Rawalpindi, govt helpless

Dengue cases soar past 4,500 in Rawalpindi, govt helpless

ISLAMABAD: Rawalpindi has seen the highest number of dengue patients in the country this year. Government of Punjab claims 4,600 patients have been admitted in government hospital, but according to independent sources the numbers are quite high.

In its programme ‘Exposed’, DawnNews surveyed Rawalpindi to find out the reasons behind unchecked spread of dengue virus in the city.

Victims told DawnNews that “the provincial government was extremely negligent about spread of the virus in the city”.

District Health Officer Dr Rafiq Ahmed said there are about 3,200 dengue cases in the city, and that the programme combating the spread of dengue will continue throughout winter.

A health department source admitted that there had been a delay in the anti-dengue virus spray which allowed the virus to spread unchecked.

The government was supposed to carry out the first round of anti-dengue virus spray by end of March, but it was delayed till September.

People who have been working on this project on temporary basis for over three years demanded of the Punjab government to make them permanent employees, but the provincial government refused and inducted more contractual employees — which further wasted time.

Exposed along with the Punjab surveillance team went from door to door in areas suspected of dengue and showed the breeding nests of larvas.

“The place where a dengue larva is detected is considered ground zero, which is sprayed along with to six houses on each sides of the affected place,” said a team member of the surveillance team.

Similarly, the house, office, school or any area specific to the patient suffering from dengue virus is also sprayed. Exposed interacted with dengue patients and doctors at Benazir Bhutto Hospital. Rawalpindi.

Medical Superintendent Dr. Zafar told DawnNews, “A separate section comprising 200 beds has been made for dengue patients, where they are diagnosed and treated free of cost.”

Despite huge claims by Punjab government, residents of Rawalpindi believe that the government hasn’t done enough to curtail the spread of this virus.

Some complained that their areas of residence were neglected during the time of spray.

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