The Centre on Saturday alerted states and Union Territories about the rise in cases of vector-borne disease dengue in the country, the health ministry said. At a meeting, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba pointed out that 11 states were witnessing outbreak of dengue, transmitted by female mosquitoes.

In a statement, the health ministry asked these states to undertake steps to ensure early detection of cases, setting up of helplines and stocking of test kits and medicines.

Gauba highlighted the spread of Serotype-II variety of the disease, which has caused the outbreak. He said that Serotype-II is associated with more cases and more complications than other forms of the disease, the health ministry release stated.

The 11 states which have reported Serotype-II cases are Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Telangana.

The Centre directed these states to conduct fever survey, contact tracing and alert blood banks for maintaining adequate stocks of blood and blood components, especially platelets.

Firozabad district of Uttar Pradesh has emerged as a hotspot of the disease. Till Friday night, official records showed that 62 people had died in Firozabad due to the disease, PTI reported. However, local media reports suggest that the toll could be much higher.

On Saturday, Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar reported that 163 people had died due to dengue in the district, with 20 of them dying since Thursday. found that lack of manpower was causing delays in conducting tests and reporting of dengue cases in Uttar Pradesh.

Apart from Firozabad, cases of dengue have also been reported from Mathura, Agra, Ballia, Varanasi, Basti and Prayagraj districts of Uttar Pradesh.