Dengue victims continue to increase

LAHORE: Negligence of the provincial health department and district administration, along with government insufficient measures before the monsoon season, has caused multiple deaths due to dengue.
Anti-dengue campaigns were not conducted regularly before the monsoon season in Lahore and other districts. Therefore, the number of patients is on a sharp rise and the victims now total 240. Most of the dengue patients hail from upscale localities and 80% of Lahore has been declared a red zone due to the presence of larvae.
The lack of coordination between local health authorities and the district administration in Lahore is the main cause of dengue’s surge. There were no specified arrangements made by the administration to test and treat dengue patients, allowing private laboratories to take full advantage of the situation. People who were diagnosed with dengue were charged around Rs1,500 to Rs2,000 per test.Patients had to get themselves tested at least five to seven times, which was financially beyond the reach of poor patients. In the past, private laboratories were bound to conduct the dengue test at Rs90, but the current regime did not take a similar measure this time around. According to the meteorological department, the monsoon season of 2019 was of a greater intensity. The accumulated water from the rains allowed dengue larvae to flourish. Also, SOPs for prevention were not followed. It had been decided to spray the areas from which dengue patients originated, but the lack of staff resulted in little action to this effect.
Dengue larvae were recovered from more than 20,000 places in Lahore, including houses, factories, hotels and graveyards. More than 2,100 cases have been registered against the concerned people, while 65 were arrested. On the orders of the Punjab government, the recruitment process of about 2,000 dengue prevention staff has started. However, at the same time, the number of dengue patients also increased significantly.