Rawalpindi sees upsurge in dengue, Covid-19 cases

Published August 27, 2022
Citizens block traffic by placing a barrier near Iesco office at Marrir Chowk in Rawalpindi on Friday during their protest against high electricity bills. The protesters demanded the government to waive off taxes. — Photo by Mohammad Asim
Citizens block traffic by placing a barrier near Iesco office at Marrir Chowk in Rawalpindi on Friday during their protest against high electricity bills. The protesters demanded the government to waive off taxes. — Photo by Mohammad Asim

RAWALPINDI: While the district administration is bracing itself for an ‘aggressive’ campaign to check the spread of dengue virus in the wake of the prolonged wet spell, Covid-19 cases again started rising and on Friday claimed one more life.

Officials said 10 people tested positive for the deadly coronavirus. Danna Begum, 94, a resident of Sadiqabad, was brought to the Rawalpindi Institute of Urology (RIU) on Aug 26 where she died.

The positivity ratio of Covid-19 in the district was recorded at 0.69pc as 1,443 samples were collected and 1,433 of them were declared negative.

In Rawalpindi district, there are 101 active patients and all of them are home isolated. One patient each arrived from the city and cantonment areas, six from Potohar Town and one each from Gujar Khan and Taxila.

DC asks govt departments to work in coordination as dengue cases increase due to more than normal rains

With the start of the new spell of rains in the garrison city, the number of dengue patients has increased and 27 new patients landed in the three government hospitals taking the tally to 276.

Two patients arrived from cantonment areas, 17 from Potohar Town, one from Dhoke Ali Akbar, two from Kahuta, three from Taxila and two patients arrived from Islamabad.

A senior official of the District Health Authority told Dawn that the number of patients had increased to 276 in the district and it was expected that more patients would arrive in the hospitals in coming days.

He said total 525 houses were checked on Friday and dengue larvae were found in nine houses while the health authority launched an aggressive campaign to eliminate the dengue larvae.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Tahir Farooq reviewed the anti-dengue campaign and asked the departments concerned to work in coordination.

Mr Farooq said public cooperation was essential to control dengue.

“Dengue cases have increased due to more than normal rains during the current season,” he said.

He said more cases of dengue were reported from Union Council Chak Jalaldin of Potohar Town, adding dengue surveillance along with fogging and indoor residual surveillance was being carried out.

He said a health unit had been established in Chak Jalaldin where blood test for fever, cold and other symptoms were being carried out. He directed officials concerned to further improve dengue surveillance by conducting field visits on a daily basis and guide dengue workers regarding larvae destruction.

Taxila

In Taxila, the number of dengue patients increased to 16 on Friday, raising alarm bells among health officials and local administration.

According to official data of the local health department, seven of the patients belonged to various localities of Wah Cantonment while four were rural areas of Taxila, one from Taxila Cantonment. There were four suspected cases.

Deputy district officer health Dr Sara Qadeer confirmed that the number of dengue cases in the health facilities was increasing.

She said that the prevailing weather was suitable for the breeding of dengue larvae and advised citizens to adopt precautionary measures and inform the authorities concerned if they found the larvae in their houses and surroundings.

Responding to a question, she said that the present spell of rains had increased the threat of mosquito breeding which needed to be tackled on an emergency basis while the Pakistan Meteorological Department has forecast more rains in next week.

Local residents said it seems the health department and the local administration have not learnt any lesson from the previous year’s experiences to identify the hotspots and carry out larvicide sprinkling in the high risk areas.

According to social circles, the authorities just focused on anti-dengue seminars and walks.

Health experts said larvicide sprinkling was carried out to destroy mosquito larvae, particularly ‘Aedes Aegypti’, the subspecies that caused the dengue fever.

Despite mosquito breeding season being at its peak, the authorities have delayed the sprinkling of larvicide by a month. The health department had in previous years identified dozens of breeding sites within the city and carried out fumigation to prevent the outbreak of dengue fever.

Due to collapsed sewage and sanitation systems in Taxila, there are several locations where stagnant water accumulates on roadsides and streets. This makes such areas breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Published in Dawn, August 27th, 2022

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