Dengue virus spreads fear among citizens
Prices of mosquito repellents, other preventive measures increase manifold, no check by govt on prices
By Afnan Khan
LAHORE: Citizens are still living in fear, as the government has so far been unable to completely fumigate the city and the mosquitoes carrying the dengue virus are freely breeding in all areas of the city.
Separately, the number of dengue patients has rapidly increased across the public and private hospitals in the city, but the Health Department is yet to finalise the right pesticide to be used in the fumigation.
The number of patients suffering from the dengue fever has crossed 2,700 with the addition of around 415 patients on Friday. The available data has revealed that 158 more people had been confirmed dengue positive in the Institute of Public Health along with 9 in the Mayo Hospital, 15 in the Jinnah Hospital, another 15 in the Ittefaq Hospital and 216 in various private hospitals of the city.
The government had not even been able to resolve the issue of provision of special kits, whose prices had shot up to Rs 30,000 each. These kits are essential to extract white blood cells from a person’s blood to confirm the presence of the dengue virus.
The phenomenon has terrorised citizens not only in Lahore, but even those who are living on the outskirts of the city and other cities. They are rushing to the public hospitals in Lahore with the view that they would get better treatment here. However, it had become difficult for the doctors, nurses, technicians and related staff to cope with such a drastic situation. The doctors told Daily Times that hospital staff across the city had been dealing with the dengue patients under extremely difficult conditions as they were already working overtime, because of which some of them were about to have a nervous break down.
They also added that the special wards in each key hospital contained only a few dozen beds, but the number of patients had increased so rapidly it had now become very difficult to accommodate additional patients.
Also, the prices of mosquito repellents and other such preventive measures had increased manifold, and there was no check and balance on the regulation and prices of the products by the government.
Citizens were also complaining about the presence of many spurious repellents in stores across the city, whose owners were not only looting the public at such a ‘sensitive hour.’
The City District Government Lahore (CDGL) authorities had promised to finish fumigation of the city with in the week but almost nothing had been done in this regard so far, except meetings between government officials and criticising each other.
However, in a press statement issued on Friday, Punjab Health Parliamentary Secretary Dr Saeed Elahi said, “All diagnostic and treatment facilities for dengue patients are being provided free of cost and the hospital’s administrations have been directed to allocate at least 10 to 30 beds for the dengue patients in every government hospital.”