LAHORE: The failure in effectively running the anti-dengue campaign has deprived another deputy commissioner of the post on Saturday.
Following the transfer of Rawalpindi DC Ali Randhawa over the same issue, the Punjab government shuffled Lahore DC Ms Saleha Saeed and directed her to report to the Services and General Administration Department (S&GAD).
Lahore additional deputy commissioner (revenue) has been given the additional charge of the office of Lahore DC, in addition to his own till further orders.
Punjab health minister Dr Yasmin Rashid earlier met Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and apprised him of the dengue control situation and facilities being extended to the dengue patients in the public hospitals across the province.
Yasmin blames officials for the ‘mess’
According to sources, the minister informed the chief minister that the health department had held several meetings with the commissioners and deputy commissioners, where Chief Secretary Yousaf Naseem Khokhar told them to strictly observe the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) while running the anti-dengue drive.
She claimed the government would not have been into the mess it was finding itself, had the commissioners, deputy commissioners and anti-dengue spray teams performed their duties properly.
The chief minister expressed his displeasure over the failure in dengue control, besides unsatisfactory sanitation, encroachments and roads condition in Lahore and Kasur.
Warning the officials that he would not tolerate any negligence in the dengue control campaign, the chief minister said: “It must not happen again that people get affected by dengue and officers continue sitting in their offices.”
The chief minister said the officers serve the masses in the field, adding those found lethargic in performing their duties would be removed from their positions.
“I am answerable to the people of Punjab,” he said.
Mr Buzdar said the third-party audit of the dengue control teams’ performance would be conducted. He added that good work would earn rewards.
Meanwhile, talking to Dawn, Primary and Secondary Health Secretary retired Capt Usman said that from Jan 1 to Sept 20, some 2,288 dengue cases had been reported in Punjab, of which 2,070 were in Rawalpindi alone and 60 in Lahore.
He said total seven deaths were caused by the virus, of these four were reported in Islamabad and one each in Rawalpindi, Chakwal and Attock.
Published in Dawn, September 22nd, 2019