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Dengue claims one more life in Delhi; toll goes up to a dozen

Staff Reporter

Patient from Mathura latest casualty ; many suspected cases crowd hospitals

DENGUE WARD: Suspected dengue patients lie under observation at a makeshift ward in the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi on Tuesday. - PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI: With the death of a Mathura resident at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences here on Tuesday evening, the death toll because of the dengue fever outbreak so far has shot up to 12.

Although the Delhi Government said there was no need for panic, the number of dengue cases being reported at the city hospitals has been showing a steady increase.

According to AIIMS officials, the patient from Mathura was admitted to the hospital a few days ago and was diagnosed with dengue. He developed complications and succumbed to the dreaded disease on Tuesday evening.

The total number of dengue-related cases in various Delhi hospitals has now gone up to 497. Of these, 280 cases are from Delhi and 217 from outside the Capital.

The Delhi Cabinet reviewed the situation at a meeting on Tuesday morning but it still did not feel that the situation warrants declaring the outbreak an epidemic.

Health Minister Yoganand Shastri said fogging and spray operations across the city had been intensified and directions were being issued to all Government offices, institutions and hospitals to avoid use of desert coolers. He said full-length clothing has been advised for all students to save them from mosquito bites.

State Principal Secretary for Health and Family Welfare D. S. Negi said: ``A special drive will also be carried out in all Delhi Government hospitals to provide blood platelets, additional beds and wards for dengue patients. The Health Department will launch an intensive mass awareness drive through advertisements in newspapers about the disease.''

Meanwhile, hospitals claimed that they were struggling with the heavy inflow of patients coming in for check-ups. A senior physician at AIIMS said: ``We are witnessing a very heavy inflow of patients especially with `suspected' dengue. So far we have 17 AIIMS students and staff under treatment for dengue and this includes two new admissions on Tuesday. Though additional infrastructure and manpower has been pressed into service, the patient load that we are handling now is very high. No patient coming here with dengue has been turned away without treatment."

Maintaining that the hospital was prepared for additional patients and had enough medical and diagnostic infrastructure, Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr. N. K. Chaturvedi said: ``We have adequate staff and medical facilities to ensure that the patients coming here are looked after. For over a week now we are getting a heavy load of patients with dengue. We are complying with all the directions of the Central Government on the matter.''

Alert sounded in J&K

A red alert was sounded in Jammu and Kashmir after two suspected cases of dengue were reported.

A woman died last week at Katra in Udhampur district. On Tuesday, a patient from the Hari Budha area of Poonch district complained of dengue-like symptoms. People have been asked to keep their surroundings clean to prevent breeding of mosquitoes.

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