RAWALPINDI: More than 19 dengue patients on Thursday arrived in government-run hospitals in the city from Dhoke Munshi taking the total number of dengue patients to 237 in the hospitals.

The Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB) claimed that there was no dengue patient or suspect in the Cantonment General Hospital (CGH).

The district administration imposed an emergency in the union council of Dhoke Munshi after 50 patients from the area were detected during a week. The administration and other departments are working in the area to clear it of the dengue mosquitoes.

However, 19 more dengue patients landed in the hospitals from the same area on Thursday.

According to official figures, 66 dengue patients arrived at Benazir Bhutto Hospital - 40 from Rawalpindi, 24 from Islamabad and two from other areas of Punjab. As many as 61 patients were reported to the District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital - 53 from Islamabad and eight from Rawalpindi - while Holy Family Hospital (HFH) received 91 dengue patients - 63 from Rawalpindi, 23 from Islamabad, one from Attock and four from outside Punjab.

A senior official of the district administration told Dawn that the number of dengue patients may increase in coming days as Dhoke Munshi was yet to be clear of dengue mosquitoes and larvae.

He said the activity to eliminate dengue would continue next week but there was a need to involve local traders and residents in it. He said commercial plaza owners in Airport Housing Scheme refused to clear their premises and asked the administration to do the job.

He said in the rest of the city the district administration and the health department had imposed fines and lodged FIRs against those who failed to clear water from basements or rooftops of buildings.

He said private housing schemes come under the Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) but the civic body had failed to streamline things. He said the RDA was busy in launching medical camps in other parts of the city which was not its duty as it was the work of the District Health Authority.

The RDA had been asked to call a meeting of the administration and developers of housing schemes to engage them in the anti-dengue campaign. However, he said, the RDA was yet to call the meeting.

On the other hand, The RCB started an anti-dengue drive but failed to accommodate the patients at the CGH.

“There is no ward for dengue patients in the cantonment’s only hospital and the administration refers patients to the HFH,” said Mohammad Anwar, a resident of Misrial Road, after visiting the hospital for a dengue checkup.

He said he had been suffering from fever for the last one week and visited the dengue serology unit but the administration refused to admit or conduct the test.

When contacted, RCB spokesman Qaiser Mehmood said 10 beds had been allocated for the dengue patients but no patient had reported to the hospital.

He said mostly people visited government hospitals as there was a perception that the provincial government had better arrangements in its hospitals.

Published in Dawn, August 23rd, 2019