New Delhi: A three-year-old girl has died of dengue, taking the total number of dead to 15 in what officials call the worst outbreak of the disease in the capital in five years. Over 1,900 people in the city have been affected by dengue.
Here are the latest developments:
- Concerned over the alarming rise in cases, the Delhi High Court today asked the Centre, the state government and civic bodies to explain the steps being taken to check the crisis.
- Almost all government-run hospitals are struggling to cope with the crush of patients, with limited beds to offer. Images of three or four patients sharing one bed have been shown on TV channels.
- The Delhi government has asked private hospitals to buy more beds and hire more doctors, nurses and paramedics. State-run hospitals have been ordered to increase beds by 1,000 by Sunday.
- Private hospitals have also been asked not to charge more than Rs. 600 for the dengue test, which is offered free of charge in government facilities.
- After the death of two young boys last week after they were allegedly denied treatment, the government has warned private hospitals that they could lose their licence for turning patients away. Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said even if they don't have beds, hospitals must treat and stabilise the patients.
- Last week, Avinash Rout, 7, and Aman Sharma, 6, died of dengue after allegedly being denied treatment by private hospitals. Avinash's parents committed suicide following his death, which provoked an outcry.
- The Indian Medical Association has said that the current virus type is "less fatal" compared to the one in 2013 and has appealed to people not to panic or demand hospital admission unless it is urgent. "There is no need of platelets transfusion unless a patient has active bleed and count of less than 10,000," said the association's Secretary General KK Aggarwal.
- Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said his government is exploring a law to facilitate temporary takeover of private hospitals during emergencies.
- The government had also announced that its anti-corruption helpline 1031 would double up as a dengue helpline. All schools in Delhi have been asked to ensure that children are dressed in full sleeve shirts, trousers and salwar kameez for the next one month.
- Dengue cases generally peak in October, after the end of the monsoon rains. Symptoms include a sudden fever, headache, muscle and joint pains. The disease is also known as "break-bone fever" for the intense pain victims can suffer.