Dengue cases rise in twin cities as authorities scramble to contain virus

Published September 14, 2022
Suspected patients queue up outside the dengue clinic at Polyclinic to get tested on Tuesday. — White Star
Suspected patients queue up outside the dengue clinic at Polyclinic to get tested on Tuesday. — White Star

RAWALPINDI/ISLAMABAD: As many as 125 dengue patients surfaced in the twin cities and one person passed away as the district administrations launched campaigns to limit the spread of the virus.

After the death of the patient in Islamabad, the total number of casualties of the current season has risen to four whereas the tally of cases has reached 743.

As many as 205 patients were admitted to the three hospitals of Rawalpindi - 75 patients in Holy Family Hospital (HFH), 66 patients in Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH) and 64 in District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital.

Among these patients, 148 belong to Rawalpindi district, 52 are from Islamabad, two are from Haripur, two from Attock and one patient is from Poonch. Dengue virus has particularly spread in some union councils of the garrison city, including Dhama Syedan, Kalyal and Dhamial.

One patient dies, 125 new patients emerge in last 24 hours

District Health Authority Chief Executive Officer Dr Anser Ishaq said fogging had been started in the affected areas to contain the spread of the virus to adjoining areas.

He said public cooperation was necessary for the success of the campaign and a dire need to adopt safety measures.

“People should cover their water tanks, clean their roof tops and wear full sleeved clothes and also drain out stagnant water,” Dr Ishaq said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Tahir Farooq said the district administration was using all resources to eliminate dengue larvae. “We will not rest till the complete elimination of dengue,” he said.

He expressed these views while presiding over a meeting in his office.

Rawalpindi has seen a spread of dengue virus as there was more rainfall than normal, Mr Farooq said, adding that if there was public cooperation, results would have been different today.

He said there was still time and people should support the government in its efforts to eliminate the dengue larvae.

The deputy commissioner issued directions, stating that all departments should expedite anti-dengue campaign and warned that the provincial government would not tolerate any negligence.

According to data issued by the District Health Office, Islamabad, out of the 75 new cases, 54 were reported from the rural areas and 21 cases surfaced in the urban localities.

As many as 478 people were infected in the rural areas and 265 in the urban areas.

During the last 24 hours, almost 50pc of the cases (36) were tested by private labs while other cases were detected at public-sector health facilities.

According to District Health Officer Dr Zaeem Zia, after rains and floods, puddles had formed across the federal capital and in the neighbouring city of Rawalpindi which had become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

In 2019, the dengue outbreak had set an all time record as it surpassed the figure of 50,000 cases of the mosquito-borne disease, with around 100 casualties across the country.

Previously, the maximum number of cases were reported over 10 years ago in 2011 when 27,000 people were infected with dengue virus, but mortality was over four times high compared to 2019. A total of 370 people died of dengue virus in 2011.

Pakistan has experienced many dengue outbreaks since the first one in 1994. During the last two decades, two major outbreaks were reported in the country: in year 2005 when over 6,000 cases with 52 deaths were reported from Karachi and in 2011, when more than 21,000 patients surfaced in Lahore and 350 died.

Over 48,000 laboratory confirmed cases of dengue were recorded from across the country between 2011 and 2014.

Published in Dawn, September 14th, 2022

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