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Delhi Sees Dengue Spike, Karnataka Offers Free Testing And Treatment

As of July 6, Delhi recorded over 256 dengue cases, which is nearly double of the 136 cases recorded in the corresponding period in 2023

Delhi Sees Dengue Spike, Karnataka Offers Free Testing And Treatment
The peak season for dengue is yet to arrive in Delhi and the situation will call for urgent attention when the monsoon advances

New Delhi: The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has attributed the significant rise in dengue cases in the city this year to an increase in the number of testing centres, which has grown from 36 to 900 compared to last year, according to an official report. As of July 6, Delhi recorded over 256 dengue cases, which is nearly double of the 136 cases recorded in the corresponding period in 2023 and the highest since 2020, according to the report’s data. In previous years, the number of dengue cases stood at 153 in 2022, 38 in 2021, and 22 in 2020.

Also Read: Delhi Health Minister Chairs Meeting Over Preparedness Against Dengue, Malaria

The highest number of dengue cases were recorded in the Najafgarh Zone, the report said. No deaths due to the vector-borne disease have been reported so far this year.

Last year, 19 deaths occurred due to dengue, the second-highest since 2020.

A senior civic body official said,

The rise in the number of cases this year is because more testing centres have started collecting samples and reporting the dengue cases to the civic body. Until last year, there were about 36 testing centres. Now, this number has increased to 900 because of which the numbers appear to be inflated.

The peak season for dengue is yet to arrive in Delhi and the situation will call for urgent attention when the monsoon advances, providing a suitable atmosphere for mosquito breeding to increase significantly, the official said.

Usually, it takes about 10-15 days for a larva to become an adult mosquito that spreads dengue. The MCD is taking various measures to curb breeding at the source, another official said.

According to the report, in areas under the jurisdiction of other agencies like New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), Delhi Cantt and Railways, around 10 dengue cases were reported as of July 6.

The report also shows data on other vector-borne diseases. The number of malaria cases reported until the end of last week stood at 90, while chikungunya cases were logged at 22.

The MCD conducted over 1.8 crore house visits to check for domestic mosquito breeding and found breeding in over 43,000 houses, the report said. It has issued nearly 40,000 legal notices and challans for violating the Malaria and other Vector Borne Diseases Bye-Laws 1975 Act, it added.

Also Read: Prevent Breeding Of Aedes Mosquitoes: Tamil Nadu Health Department To District Health Officers On National Dengue Day

Free Testing and Treatment

The Karnataka government has said that all testing and treatment will be provided free for Dengue fever cases at all healthcare centres under the Department of Health and Family Welfare. Setting up of ‘Dengue war room’ both at state and district level, constituting district level task force, identification of hotspots, activation of fever clinics, distribution of mosquito repellents, are among the instructions given by the department in a circular, to district administrations for strict compliance.

The circular read,

Considering the current Dengue situation in the state during the current monsoon season, it is crucial that measures implemented with regard to treatment and management of Dengue cases are result-oriented. In this regard, instructions are being issued for strict compliance.

As per health department data, Karnataka has till Wednesday recorded 7,840 dengue positive cases since January this year, with areas coming under the city civic body, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) accounting for the largest at 2,292 .

On Wednesday, the state reported 293 fresh dengue infection cases, including 118 in BBMP areas.

The circular said,

All testing and treatment facilities (including ICU if needed) shall be provided free of cost for all Dengue fever cases (irrespective of BPL/APL status of patient) in all health care facilities which are under Department of Health & Family Welfare.

Noting that all the houses should be covered for source reduction once in a fortnight through ASHA and health staff, it said, the health staff can be supplemented by volunteers, especially in urban areas.

The volunteers are to be engaged by Urban Local Bodies at Rs 200 per day.

It also said, the campaign for source reduction with appropriate IEC (Information,Education and Communication) on dengue fever prevention and treatment would be undertaken with active involvement of elected representatives, citizens and other allied departments in the forenoon on every Friday (or any other day as decided by the District Task Force) wherein the public would be motivated to take up cleanliness drive inside and outside of their houses as well as empty and scrub clean water storage containers.

Also Read: Sea Surface Temperatures Of Indian Ocean Could Help Predict Dengue Outbreaks Globally: Study

District administrations and BBMP should identify hotspots (an area with a radius of about 100 meters within which two or more dengue positive cases have been reported).

The health department said efforts should be to reduce the number of hotspots through intensification of source reduction activity in such areas, through mass spraying of larvicide in outdoor areas where water stagnation points are noticed, and fogging in indoors.

Ensure activation of fever clinics in such areas, it said, and asked authorities to ensure distribution of mosquito repellent neem oil or suitable alternatives in such areas for external application on exposed body parts like hands, legs, neck, face, etc to the poor households.

It also called for monitoring positive cases daily for 14 days from onset of symptoms, and to educate them about early warning signs of the mild dengue disease progressing to moderate/severe stage.

A minimum of five beds in taluk hospitals and 8-10 beds in district hospitals shall be earmarked for Dengue fever cases, it said.

However, these beds could be utilised for other patients in case they are not fully used for dengue patients.

Testing kits, essential drugs and IV fluids for treatment and management of dengue cases shall be kept well stocked in all Health care facilities, the circular further said, adding that it shall be ensured that platelets, fresh frozen plasma and other blood components are available in sufficient quantity in both public and private blood banks.

Also Read: Climate Change Pushes Dengue Into New Frontiers Across India

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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