New Delhi: Even as the Indian Public Health Association (IPHA) calls for a serious study of dengue and cases of the water borne disease in the capital continue to rise, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) says there is nothing to worry about.
“The situation is very much under control and there’s nothing to panic about,” a deputy health officer at the MCD, who asked not to be named as he was not authorised to talk to the media, told Firstpost.
The DHO said that as of figures on Friday October 26, Delhi NCR had 835 reported cases of dengue — of which 827 alone were in Delhi. “On the same day (26 October) in 2008 the number of cases were 1,037 and in 2010 they were 5,189 cases. So, this year we are better off,” he said.
And despite reports of 75 more dengue cases in the city and more probable dengue deaths over the weekend, the official said that there have been Delhi NCR has seen only two deaths from dengue, so far.
The official told Firstpost that the MCD is taking all measures to curb the spread of the disease by intensifying its house to house checking program and fogging schedules.
The corporation has also directed 37 government recognised hospitals to arrange for additional beds and blood supply.
One of the symptoms of Dengue is a sudden fall in platelets count, in which case a patient may need a transfusion of platelets from a donor of the same blood group. The MCD, the official said, is providing extra platelet segregation kits to hospitals and has asked them to ensure that they have adequate supply of blood in their banks.
The MCD has also declared all weekends as working weekends for its on the field staff — with a total of 3,300 workers monitoring and checking the situation on ground, the DHO said.
“Our staff is very dedicated and working overtime. We have declared all Saturdays and Sundays as working days and we are also working in tandem with our entomologists (of which we have one each per zone) to help restrict this disease,” he said.
However, the city’s hospitals may still not be equipped to deal with the disease.
A South Delhi patient, 39-year-old Virender Aswal, suffering from dengue and admitted in the city’s AIIMS hospital told Firstpost that the hospital was only admitting patients who had a platelet count of 20,000 or below.
The range of platelets for a normal person is between 1.5 lakhs to 4 lakhs.
Aswal, a resident of Dhaula Kuan who was admitted into the hospital with a platelet count of 14,000, told Firstpost that the hospital was discharging people whose platelets went up to 40,000-50,000.
“There are so many people coming to the hospital for treatment, so I guess they have to have some rules for themselves about what kind of cases they will take,” he said.
On being asked if the MCD had issued any directive to hospitals about the kind of cases they should admit, the DHO said there was it had not issued any such directive.
He said the hospitals were making their own judgements about admittance into their hospitals. “Besides, platelets are not the only indicator for dengue. Any high grade fever will see platelets dip, so one can’t say that they should be admitted into hospital because of a low platelet count,” the DHO said.
For now, the MCD is hoping that its measures suffice.
“We are listening to the suggestions and reports by our entomologists and will act based on those reports,” the official said.