Dengue-chikungunya crisis: hospitals, flooded with patients, turn waiting areas, patient lounges and non-emergency wards into fever wards

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NEW DELHI: The dengue-chikungunya crisis is severely straining health services in the capital. Top public and private hospitals, flooded with patients, have turned waiting areas, patient lounges and non-emergency wards into fever wards. But the influx of patients is so high that not everyone is being admitted.

As per municipal data, 487 dengue and 444 chikungunya cases have been recorded this year. However, major public and private hospitals told TOI that chikungunya cases could be at least 10 times that figure. AIIMS, Safdarjung, Ram Manohar Lohia and Lok Nayak hospitals together have received over 834 cases. “We have turned the psychiatry ward into fever ward to meet the demand,” said Dr A K Rai, MS, Safdarjung hospital.

The AIIMS spokesperson said two beds had been reserved in all departments for fever cases. RML and Lok Nayak have made similar arrangements to meet the crisis.

Private hospitals, too, were flooded with chikungunya cases. “Chikungunya is not usually fatal. But it produces severe symptoms such as high grade fever, causing panic among patients and necessitating admission,” Dr Suranjit Chatterjee, senior consultant, internal medicine at Apollo hospital said.

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