The district health department on Saturday confirmed that 1,499 patients have been diagnosed with mosquito-borne disease dengue in Rawalpindi, according to a report submitted to the Punjab government. Sources said that the district administration of Rawalpindi forwarded a detailed report to the Punjab government over the outspread of dengue fever. According to the report, overall 1,499 persons were confirmed to be infected with dengue virus. Out of these cases, 10 were reported from Chakwal, eight from Attock, and two in Jhelum. The report suggests the rapid spread of the disease as 548 cases were reported last week and 84 people with the virus were brought into hospitals during the last 24 hours in Rawalpindi alone.
Within the last about 24 hours, 138 dengue patients were admitted to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) and three government hospitals in Rawalpindi. With the new arrival of 70 dengue patients, the total number of positive cases reported to Pims since Aug 1 reached 200. Moreover, 68 dengue patients arrived in three government hospitals of Rawalpindi, raising the number of hospitalised dengue patients to 202. Officials said the condition of 16 of the patients was critical. Pims’ media coordinator Dr Waseem Khawaja told Dawn that initially just a few confirmed cases were reported in the hospital but on Monday 70 cases were reported positive.
Following recent rainfall in the country and rising temperatures, which provide an ideal breeding ground for dengue larvae, experts had been warning of the potential for an outbreak. In order to mitigate a health catastrophe, officials had to ensure district-wide cleanliness and drain out stagnant rainwater from low lying areas. Not only twin cities but also other parts of the world including Peshawar are particularly vulnerable and struggling with containing the spread of dengue each summer. Peshawar’s Khyber Teaching Hospital alone recorded 831 patients. Many of the areas that have reported dengue cases this time around are the same that were struggling with the outbreak two years ago.
It may be noted here that a district magistrate had imposed Section 144 to deal with the outbreak of the deadly virus in Islamabad on September 12. Under Section 144, tyre shop owners will not be allowed to put tyres in front of their shops and denizens will have to take precautionary measures while watering plants to prevent the spread of dengue. The district magistrate warned that any violation of the section would entail legal action.There is dire need to work day and night to control the dengue virus and only continued and sincere efforts will reduce the number of cases.
There is dire need to work day and night to control the dengue virus and only continued and sincere efforts will reduce the number of cases.