At the specially created 'fever clinic' in Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital, patients jostled in long queues waiting to receive tests. There was visible confusion and anger against the authorities who, patients complained, were leaving them in the lurch.
"My daughter has vomited four times and still we are not being called", complained a woman. "We are bringing in our patients ourselves, there are no ward boys to help us", complained another. "Just step out and see, patients have been made to lie on the floor outside" raged another man.
RML also has a separate dengue ward but surprisingly only half the earmarked beds were occupied. Hospital authorities say this is because only those who need transfusion are eventually admitted.
"Special fever clinics have been propagated to take care of patients with high-fever symptoms. One doctor sitting in the fever clinic doesn't examine the patients, he counsels the patients and their relatives about the precautions to be taken and not to get frightened of the disease", said Dr AK Gadpayle, Director of RML.
At the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), the authorities also devised a series of public lectures to prevent the spread of panic.
"Lab technicians have been specially deployed in the Emergency to run public campaigns and public lectures on Chikungunya and Dengue. This has been happening since before the monsoons", said Dr Amit Gupta, Spokesperson for AIIMS.
While all three hospitals were overstretched to cope with the rising cases, they admitted that they were taking extra steps to deal with the situation. As the rains continued and patient numbers rose, even the special measures deployed by hospitals to deal with dengue and chikungunya were having to be strengthened.
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