RAWALPINDI: Dengue virus has started spreading in the garrison city as 36 patients have landed in three government hospitals.
Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmeen Rashid on Tuesday said the number of dengue patients was increasing and allied hospitals in the city were currently treating 49 patients — 36 confirmed and the remaining suspects. Six of the dengue patients arrived in the hospitals during the last 24 hours.
Addressing a press briefing at Benazir Bhutto Hospital, the minister said dengue had spread like an epidemic in Rawalpindi in 2019 and the government was constantly planning to prevent such a situation from happening again.
Says govt constantly preparing to avoid situation witnessed in 2019
Rawalpindi Medical University Vice Chancellor Dr Mohammad Omar and other concerned officials were also present on the occasion.
The minister said extreme caution was needed and every citizen, apart from the administration and government departments, must ensure eradication of dengue larvae from their homes and surroundings.
She said the provincial government was aware of the situation and this year the cabinet had held 15 meetings to discuss ways to control the disease.
She also said efforts were being made to eradicate polio from all over Pakistan.
Due to the continuous immunisation campaigns, not a single case has been reported so far this year.
Moreover, environmental samples collected from polio sensitive areas were also negative.
She said Pakistan and Afghanistan were two countries in the world where poliovirus had not been eradicated yet. If no case is reported for three consecutive years, Pakistan will also be declared a polio-free country.
Dr Rashid said the intensity of the fourth wave of Covid-19 was decreasing and in the last 24 hours 880 cases had been reported in Punjab.
She said more than 0.4 million people were being vaccinated against the virus daily in Punjab. So far, over 50 million people have been administered the vaccine for the first dose and efforts are being made to achieve the target of 70pc by the end of the year.
She said by the end of this year, 29.3 million families will get Insaf health cards.
Responding to a question, Dr Rashid said there are 31 departments involved in dengue surveillance and their work is subject to a third party audit. Private laboratories are now also required to inform the government about the number of positive dengue cases.
To another question, she said D.G. Khan cardiology hospital, mother and child hospital in Mianwali and Nishtar-II hospital in Multan would be operational soon. She said 87 liver transplant operations had been performed at the Punjab Kidney and Liver Transplant Institute.
Published in Dawn, September 22nd, 2021