Dawn News

RAWALPINDI, Aug 25: The City District Government Rawalpindi (CDGR) on Saturday started a campaign to prevent the spread of dengue virus during monsoon. Allied hospitals and rural health centres have been put on red alert.

On the first day of the campaign, District Coordination Officer (DCO) Saqib Zafar along with Executive District Officer Health Dr Zafar Iqbal Gondal, EDO Municipal Services Imtiaz Malik, District Officer Solid Waste Management Dr Mazhar Azeem, District Officer Health Dr Ansar Ishaq and others, visited construction sites in search of Aedes Aegypti (dengue mosquito) larvae.

They continued their search at Chandni Chowk, Commercial Market, Haideri Chowk, E-Block, T.B. Hospital on Asghar Mall Road, Saidpur Road, Shamsabad and Benazir Bhutto Road.

However, the team found no larvae in the area. The DCO warned the owners of vacant plots on Saidpur Road and Rawal Town Municipal Administration (RTMA) to drain water from vacant plots and the Satellite Town Commercial Market Park within 24 hours, promising strict action if they do not do so.

They also asked RTMA to remove unwrapped tyres from Bachon ki Dunyia (Satellite Town Park) within the next 24 hours. The administration and the health department have been told to remove all stagnant water from roadsides and parks to prevent breeding of dengue mosquitoes.

“We started the campaign as a precautionary measure to avoid the spread of dengue virus within the city,” DCO Saqib Zafar told Dawn.

He added that entomologists had been asked to intensify their campaign as well as their larvae search-and-destroy mission to protect residents.

He said the CDGR would also check the government offices and buildings on Sunday as well as other parts of the city, including Adiala Jail, from Monday. He said it had been brought to their attention that the backyards of government offices were often neglected during such campaigns, and stagnant water was seen there after rainfall.

“The Civil Defence department office located on Airport Road has been asked to make arrangements for its own cleanliness with the help of its volunteers because, due to a fire station, water accumulates around the office,” he added.

He said the Parks and Horticulture Agency (PHA) had been asked to improve the condition of all parks and green belts and to stop watering plants unnecessarily. “Wasa will make sure that filtration plants and tubewells are neat and clean and will make arrangements for the discharge of water,” he said.

Executive District Officer Health Dr Zafar Iqbal Gondal told Dawn that the health department had written a letter to Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) to prevent leakages at water supply lines and water tanks in Shamsabad, Saidpur Road, Double Road, Dhoke Kashmirian, Satellite Town, Raja Bazaar and other areas.

He said the spray to avoid dengue virus had been carried out in the 46 union councils of the city especially along nullahs within the Islamabad area and in rural union councils in the district.

He also said necessary medication had been dispatched to Tehsil Headquarters Hospitals and rural health centres to deal with patients suffering from dengue fever.

Rawalpindi Medical College Infectious Diseases In-charge Dr Javed Hayat told Dawn that three hospitals had made arrangements to deal with dengue patients. However, he said at present, there were no patients admitted to the hospitals complaining of dengue fever.

He added that during last month, the three hospitals received 81 suspected dengue patients and a total of 78 patients’ dengue serology was negative. “Three patients were discharged after being provided treatment,” he said.

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