In Monday’s meeting, Mandaviya stressed on the need to scale up testing. He said many poor people were not diagnosed properly and their death went unreported. “Primary healthcare centres may prescribe anti-pyretic drugs to suppress fever symptomatically without testing or addressing the root cause. Since no dengue tests have been carried out, deaths in these cases will not be reported as such and dengue incidence will continue to be underreported,” he noted.
Civic bodies are taking various measures, including fogging, to contain dengue
The meeting was attended by Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan, National Centre for Disease Control director Dr S K Singh and Delhi additional chief secretary (health) Bhupinder Bhalla.
Mandaviya directed officials to ramp up testing and stressed on the need for effective coordination between the central and the state governments. Pointing out how some hospitals were overburdened with dengue cases while others had unoccupied beds, the minister requested Delhi officials to look into the possibility of repurposing Covid beds for dengue patients.
Last week, Delhi government directed hospitals to use one-third of Covid beds for the mosquito-borne disease. “Dengue patients are flooding us with requests for admission but we can only admit seriously ill patients due to paucity of beds,” said a doctor at AIIMS. At Lok Nayak Hospital too, the doctors said both the OPD and IPD were crowded by patients suffering from febrile illness, mostly dengue. “We are seeing patients from all age groups, small children to adults and elderly. Unlike last year, many of them have severe dengue symptoms,” said a doctor at Manipal Hospital, Dwarka.
Delhi is monitoring all fever cases, including those of suspected and confirmed dengue, state health officials informed Mandaviya. All hospitals are now zero-tolerant sites for mosquitoes because vectors acquire the pathogen from infected individuals and are able to transmit it in their offspring too, officials said. The meeting also discussed the new dengue vaccines.