With the city witnessing a surge in the number of dengue, chikungunya and viral fever cases, Union Health Minister J. P. Nadda “stepped in” to reassure Delhiites asking them not to panic.
“We are working in close coordination with the Delhi government and various agencies to tackle the outbreak,” he said adding that the focus should be on “symptomatic” treatment and prevention.
“The municipal bodies have been directed to ensure that there is no stagnation of water and cleanliness is maintained. Also all central government hospitals are fully equipped to deal with the situation. We are keeping a close watch in terms of availability of kits, training of staff, bed strength,” he added.
The city has so far reported 432 cases of chikungunya and 487 cases of dengue.
The Delhi government announced a capping of Rs. 600 to Rs. 1,500 for tests to confirm chikungunya.
Speaking about the condition in Delhi, State Health Minister Satyendar Jain said: “Chikungunya and dengue are on the rise in Delhi because the BJP-ruled municipal bodies have failed to provide fogging and sanitation services.”
He said it is the municipal corporations’ job to carry out cleaning and fogging.
“We have 10,000 beds and the number of fever clinics has been increased from 55 last year to 355. People should not fear. The Delhi government is ready to tackle the menace,” he said.
He added that people should take precaution to avoid the disease and prevent the breeding of mosquitoes on their premises.
Hospitals across the city have confirmed that they are seeing large number of patients coming with seasonal fevers. Doctors also warn that chikungunya cases are far more than what is being reported.
Till August 20, Safdarjung Hospital reported 246 cases, All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) reported 391 cases, Lok Nayak Jaya Prakash Hospital 23 cases and Hindu Rao Hospital 28.
Safdarjung Hospital Medical Superintendent A. K. Rai said: “We have recorded 246 confirmed chigungunya cases so far. The number of suspected cases is much more.”
He added that the focus should be on preventing chikungunya from spreading.
Doctors advise that water stagnation should not be allowed and people should protect themselves from mosquito bites, keep their surroundings clean, dispose of unnecessary items such as old tyres, flower pots and cans, use mosquito repellents or nets.
A senior physician from LNJP Hospital said that though they have 23 confirmed chikungunya cases, the number is much higher as several patients don’t go for tests.
“The last two weeks have definitely seen a surge in the number of chikungunya case,” he added.