POST TIME: 23 July, 2019 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 22 July, 2019 10:44:57 PM
400 hospitalised a day in capital
Staff Reporter, Dhaka

400 hospitalised a day in capital

Two dressmakers of Islampur area in the capital yesterday sew mosquito nets to cater to increased demands as dengue danger has been dangling over Dhaka since February this year. Photo: Sumanta Chakraborty

The number of dengue patients in Dhaka kept rising with a record number of patients -- over 400 -- getting admitted to hospitals in the capital over the period of 24 hours until yesterday. Irked by the current dengue situation in the capital, the High Court yesterday expressed dissatisfaction over the two Dhaka city corporations’ report on dengue prevention, and summoned the chief health officials of the two Dhaka city corporations to appear before it to explain their failure in preventing the outbreak of dengue and chikungunya in the capital.

According to data provided by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) control room, a total of 403 dengue patients were admitted to different government and private hospitals in 24 hours ending at 3pm yesterday, indicating how critical the situation has turned to be.

The number of patients admitted in the capital on a daily basis was 319 on July 21 and 308 in July 20. Last week, the average number was 300.

As of now, the number of deaths caused by dengue stood at five as per government data and at least 7,179 dengue patients were admitted to different hospitals in the capital till July 22. However, media reports put the death figure to at least 26.

From January 1 to July 22, a total of 5,509 patients were released after treatment from different hospitals in the capital. Currently, 1,665 patients are undergoing treatment at these medical facilities.

Dr Ayesha Akhter, in-charge of the disease control room at the DGHS, urged people not to be panicked and stressed the necessity for creating awareness about dengue.

Acknowledging that the number of dengue patients was significantly high, Dr Ayesha said there could be more patients and deaths.

She, however, could only confirm the deaths of five people who were suffering from Dengue.

Expressing concerns over the dengue situation, an HC bench yesterday asked two top officials to appear before it on July 25 to explain their position, especially their failure to prevent the outbreak of mosquito-borne diseases like dengue and chikungunya, and eliminate the breeding grounds of Aedes mosquitoes in the capital.

The HC bench, comprising Justice Tariq ul Hakim and Justice Md Shohrowardi, came up with the order during the hearing on a suo moto rule issued by it on July 14 that ordered the two city corporations to submit a report about the steps taken by them to prevent dengue and chikungunya and to destroy the breeding grounds of Aedes mosquitoes by yesterday (July 22).

Assistant attorney-general Saira Fairoz submitted the reports before the HC bench in line with its previous directive. But the HC bench expressed dissatisfaction over the report, saying there is no country in the world where its High Court issued a rule to prevent the dengue mosquitoes. “But unfortunately, we have to issue such a rule,” the HC bench said.

According to the reports, a total of 26 people have died in the meantime following the outbreak of dengue fever. This figure was only six or seven when the rule was being issued by this court, the HC bench said, adding: “People are being admitted to hospital after being affected with dengue.”

“You (city corporations) are not doing anything to prevent the dengue mosquitoes. Whatever you might have written in the compliance reports, the consequence is that people are going to hospital due to dengue fever. You cannot take people to hospital by force. Did the media write false reports over the matter?” the HC bench asked the prosecution lawyer.

Then, the HC bench summoned the chief health officials of Dhaka North and South city corporations for their explanation over their failure to prevent dengue and chikungunya in the capital.

On July 14, the same bench of the HC issued the suo moto rule directing the authorities to take effective steps within 24 hours to eradicate Aedes mosquitoes from the capital and take preventive measures to stop the spread of dengue and chikungunya and similar diseases in the city.

In another incident, Civil Surgeon of Habiganj died at Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital (SBMCH) in the capital late on Sunday reportedly being affected by dengue virus.

It was not clear, however, whether the health official was infected with the virus outside the capital.

Confirming the death, Shah Alam, administrative officer of Civil Surgeon Office, said Civil Surgeon Dr Shahadat, 53, joined the office with fever on July 20 on completion of his leave and attended the District Development Advocacy Meeting on Sunday.

Dr Shahadat, hailing from Pirojpur, was admitted to Habiganj Sadar Hospital with high fever and then shifted to SBMCH on Sunday afternoon where he died.

Dr Shahadat joined as civil surgeon after promotion from the post Jhalakati Upazila Health and Family Planning Officer on July 9. His family members live in Dhaka, Alam said. Dr Shahadat has a son, who is currently a 3rd-year medical student.