As many as 105 cases of dengue and viral fever were recorded in Firozabad district of Uttar Pradesh on Sunday, PTI reported. Over the last ten days, 51 patients, including 40 children, have died due to these diseases.
The Uttar Pradesh government has attributed a majority of the deaths to Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this is a “severe and sometimes fatal form of the disease”.
Principal of Autonomous State Medical College Society Dr Sangeeta Aneja said that 447 patients are admitted to various wards of the hospital in Firozabad.
“Today [Sunday], 105 new patients of dengue and viral fever were admitted while 60 people recovered,” Aneja added. “The death toll stands at 51. No child died in the past 24 hours in the medical college.”
More than 50% of the 200 samples collected from Firozabad and neighbouring areas on Sunday tested positive for dengue, NDTV reported, citing sources in the health ministry.
“We have 755 surveillance teams in place and we had 64 special camps today [Sunday] where 4,469 patients came in,” said Dr Dinesh Kumar Premi, chief medical officer of Firozabad.
The official added: “Of the total, 3,044 patients were of fever. [Also] 236 samples returned positive for dengue and we got four confirmed cases of lepto spirosis. We have also got scrub typhus cases.”
The district administration has blamed rain and floods for the rise in dengue cases. The state government has instructed health officials in all the districts to stock up medicines to cater to patients.
Adityanath orders action against officials
However, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath on Monday said that some health officials in Firozabad had been not been careful, and ordered action against them, according to PTI.
Adityanath called a meeting amid the health crisis and directed officials to send experts from three hospitals to Firozabad, Agra and Mathura to monitor patients.
The chief minister ordered that arrangements be made for more hospital beds, medical staff and testing equipment.
Meanwhile, the Centre sent experts from the National Centre for Disease Control and the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme to monitor the situation in Firozabad.
Following the rise in cases, a video from the district showed the mother of a 12-year-old falling at the feet of Aneja, principal of Autonomous State Medical College Society. The mother is pleading to the doctor to admit her unconscious child to the hospital.
“There are 540 children admitted here,” Dr Aneja said when asked about the video. “Everybody wants to get admitted here. They are fine even if two people occupy one bed. We are focussing on saving lives now. We admitted this kid to the hospital the moment we got to know [about his condition]. I am sitting right here to make sure no patient is inconvenienced.”
Meanwhile, Firozabad nodal officer Sudhir Kumar Bobde has asked the citizens to not store excess water.
Apart from reiterating the general precautions, the district administration has also released Gambusia fish that feed on mosquito larvae in several ponds around Firozabad to curb the spread of dengue.
“We have brought about 25,000 of these fish and released them in several ponds,” said Dinesh Kumar, chief medical officer of Firozabad.
Apart from Firozabad, cases of dengue have also been reported from Mathura, Agra, Ballia, Varanasi, Basti and Prayagraj districts, the Hindustan Times reported.
In Ballia, the cases of dengue and viral fever have increased by 25% over the past 10 days, according to Medical Superintendent of the District Hospital Dr VP Singh. The children’s ward of the hospital was filled to its capacity, he added.