RAWALPINDI: As many as 48 suspected dengue patients arrived at Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH) during the last 24 hours, officials said .

The condition of one of the patients, Mohammad Tahir, was said to be critical.

The district administration imposed an emergency in the city after 48 patients reported to hospitals from Dhoke Munshi a few days ago.

However, more dengue patients reported to the government hospitals from different areas.

According to sources, doctors at the BBH collected blood samples of the 48 patents and sent it to the National Institute of Health (NIH), Islamabad.

The sources said 39 of the patients had reached the hospital from Rawalpindi and nine from Islamabad. They said 18 patients were tested positive for dengue whereas 15 were negative. The results of 15 patients were awaited.

The BBH is facing a shortage of beds and has allocated eight beds in the emergency department and 17 in the dengue ward. The hospital administration failed to accommodate all the patients and referred some of them to Holy Family Hospital (HFH).

A senior official of the district administration told Dawn that the number of dengue patients may increase in coming days as many areas were yet to be cleared of dengue mosquitoes and larvae.

He said the commissioner had asked the hospitals to increase the beds for dengue patients. He said the load of patients was increasing in the three hospitals as Cantonment Hospital and three hospitals in Islamabad were also referring the suspected dengue patients to Rawalpindi.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Ali Randhawa visited the BBH to inspect the dengue wards.

A team from the Punjab Health Care Commission (PHCC) also paid a snap visit to allied hospitals, including the BBH.

The head of the team snubbed the administration of the BBH for making improper arrangements for the patients, said sources. The team also expressed concerns over the shortage of doctors, nurses and other paramedical staff in the hospital.

BBH Medical Superintendent Dr Mohammad Raffique could not be contacted for comments.

Published in Dawn, August 25th, 2019