This Article is From Sep 20, 2016

15 New Dengue Cases In Bhopal, Test Centres Hit By Backlogs

Recent spike in dengue cases has strained testing centres in Bhopal leading to delays in diagnosis.

Bhopal: 15 new dengue cases have been reported in Bhopal in just the past one week - the highest this year - taking the total number of dengue cases in the city to 93. The spike in dengue infections has also strained the resources of the city's only five government test centres, resulting in patients having to wait for days for their test results.

Ishant Nigam, 16, was admitted to the Jay Prakash Hospital with dengue like symptoms on Saturday. Three days later, the test centre is yet to submit its report.

"Firstly, it was a struggle to get the pathology department to accept my son's blood sample. After three days, we are still waiting for the report. Adequate facilities have not been made available to patients," complained Ishant's father Manoj Nigam.

The dengue ward where Ishant is being treated has no mosquito nets to prevent the spread of infection. However the government claims it is ready to tackle a dengue outbreak in the city.

Senior health official Upendra Dubey accepted that there was a shortage of testing kits, but he claimed that the shortfall had been overcome.

"We were aware of shortage of Elisa test kits but now an adequate number of kits have been made available," he said.

"We have 118 teams of which 25 teams are from the malaria department and 80 are health workers who are working to spread awareness about mosquito control," Mr Dubey added.

However, Bhopal residents claim that the government's efforts are not enough. They allege that the mosquito control exercise is merely cosmetic, and not effective.

"There is a dengue problem every year in Bhopal, but the government just gives assurances and nothing more. Last year they promised to do something about it, but this year it's the same story," a Bhopal resident lamented.

So far one patient has died due to dengue in the city.