Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dengue Alert!

Courtesy: Headlines Today
Ahead of CWG, dengue claims 4 lives in Delhi

With slightly over six weeks left to the Commonwealth Games (CWG) and Delhi already facing the embarrassment of not meeting deadlines for the completion of most of the projects, the city is now facing the threat of dengue. The mosquito-spread disease has so far claimed four lives.
Massive construction activities, dug up roads and heavy rains have made the capital an ideal target for Aedes mosquitoes. According to Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), four people have died of dengue in the city.
The situation is alarming and threatening to go out of control as 20 more people tested positive on Tuesday taking the total number of affected people to 277.
Jamia Nagar and Okhla, home to more than 5 lakh people, are the worst hit areas. These densely populated localities do not have a proper drainage system and are breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Residents of these areas claimed over 2,000 people have been affected by dengue and the authorities are trying to hide the real figures due to the upcoming Games.
Hospitals finding it difficult to handle:
Massive construction activities, dug up roads and heavy rains have made the capital an ideal target for Dengue
As the number of people contracting this deadly disease rises, hospitals are finding themselves unable to cope with the surge of dengue cases. Holy Family Hospital in Jamia Nagar is facing an acute shortage of beds and has even put up a board saying that it cannot admit any more dengue patients. Many areas in south Delhi are affected by the disease. These include Batla House, Okhla, Vasant Kunj, Lajpat Nagar, Ansari Nagar, South Extension, Masjid Moth. East and north Delhi are also suffering where areas like Shahdara,Yamuna Vihar, Bhajanpura, Mukherjee Nagar and Jahangirpuri have been affected.
Authorities concerned:
The Delhi administration is working overtime to keep the deadly disease at bay. City's main civic agencies - MCD and New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) - have admitted that several CWG venues, including the Games Village, are breeding grounds for the disease spreading mosquitoes.
But, the officials still choose to downplay the situation to avoid spreading panic. Delhi Mayor Prithvi Raj Sawhney said he will inspect the worst affected areas of Jamia Nagar on Wednesday along with the health department officials.
"Dengue has been confirmed as the cause in only one of the four deaths, while three other cases are suspected. There are 33 government hospitals apart from the private ones so there is no dearth of beds," Sawhney told Headlines Today.
Delhi Health Minister Kiran Walia shied away from talking about the dengue death toll. She wriggled out of the whole mess by saying that the MCD was responsible for keeping track of dengue deaths.
"It is the MCD's concern to collect the data. It is not the Delhi government's concern and every time the MCD does it. But I checked the data because in the House also it was discussed and I like to take an update everyday. According to them, there are four deaths," Walia said.
Both the Delhi government and MCD officials are trying to ensure that the city is safe ahead of the Games. Efforts are being doubled to ensure that the stadia and Games Village are protected from the threat of dengue.
Satisfied by the efforts of government agencies to check the spread of dengue, CWG organising committee vice-president Randhir Singh said, "Fumigation is going on at all the stadias. When we were in Indira Gandhi stadium it was fumigated."

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