Delhi's Health Minister Satyendra Jain on Tuesday claimed that the national capital did not have an outbreak of chikungunya and blamed the media for creating panic about it. "There has never been any death due to chikungunya in the world. Medically. This is media-created panic," he said, asking it to be "proven medically" that four deaths in Delhi in the past 24 hours had been a result of chikungunya, ANI reported.
There has been a 90% rise in the number of chikungunya cases in Delhi in a week. According to municipal reports, hospitals across the city recorded 1,057 such cases till September 10. A health ministry official also told PTI that the government is investigating the deaths that were said to have been caused by chikungunya.
Jain further said that only 40% of the beds in government hospitals were under the Delhi government's control. "We're not denying anyone a bed and have made all facilities available to deal with such cases," he added. The minister asserted that Delhi was the responsibility of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung, also questioning why two mayors of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi were out of station. "Their only work is to ensure cleanliness," he said on the rise of chikungunya cases in the city, according to ANI.
Union Health Minister JP Nadda has said, however, that around 40,000 people in the country have been affected by the vector-borne diseases, and that the Centre and state needed to coordinate in their efforts to handle the outbreak, PTI reported. Nadda said the ministry had earlier held a meeting with Satyendra Jain and Delhi's administrative agencies and had directed them to follow all ministry protocols. He added that the government has also put a cap on prices of tests for the diseases and that states had been given technical support to handle the outbreak.