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Dengue spread in Rawalpindi feared

September 21, 2013

RAWALPINDI, Sept 20: Adviser to the Punjab chief minister on dengue Khawaja Salman Rafique on Friday warned that the disease can spread in Rawalpindi due to the alarming situation in Swat and other areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

“The local administration should take precautionary measures to check the spread of the virus. Details of patients should also be collected from areas where dengue mosquitoes have been found.”

The adviser stated this at a meeting held at the commissioner office here on Friday.

He said proper data on tyre shops and junkyards in the district should be collected.

An official who attended the meeting told Dawn that the adviser expressed dissatisfaction over the performance of the city district government regarding dengue surveillance and asked its officials to take steps to avoid the spread of the disease.

In reply to a question from the adviser, officials of the fisheries department said 200 fishes had been released into ponds so that they could eat the larva of the dengue mosquitoes.

The adviser asked about the criminal cases registered against the owners of junkyards and tyre shops for their failure to take precautionary measures against dengue mosquitoes.

In reply, the tehsil municipal administration officials informed the meeting that they had registered dozens of cases against such shops.

The vague answer, however, annoyed the adviser who asked for data about the total number of tyre shops and junkyards.

However, the TMA officials failed to produce the data. Upon this, the adviser directed them to complete the data and present it to him in the next meeting.

Mr Rafique said the dengue mosquitoes were found in Gujar Khan and other rural areas but no patient had reported to the city hospitals from these areas.

“It is strange,” he said and added that the health department and the city district government officials should collect the data from private hospitals and clinics also.

He directed the city government and other functionaries to expedite their efforts for preventing and protecting the citizens from dengue.

“The precautionary measures are much needed in Rawalpindi and other districts which bordered with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province as the number of dengue patients is increasing in Swat and other districts of KP.”

He said quick response and effective treatment facilities should be ensured for the suspected dengue patients along with all precautionary measures in the areas from where dengue suspects come to the hospitals.

He said all segments of society should be sensitised about taking precautionary measures for protection against dengue mosquitoes.

Executive District Officer Health Dr Zafar Gondal told the meeting that total 20 patients were under treatment in the teaching hospitals of Rawalpindi out of whom 13 were from Rawal Town, two from Abbotabad and the remaining five from Potohar Town.

He said Rawal Town was under focus because dengue larva had been found in more quantity there.

He said after checking of 1,432 tyre shops the owners of 136 were issued notices for violation of government instructions. Besides, 2,358 junkyards were also checked and notices issued to 523 of them.