89 cases of chikungunya and 36 cases of dengue have already been reported in Delhi till May 13.
New Delhi: In view of the off-season scare with the rising cases of dengue and chikungunya in the national capital, Delhi health department has set up a 24x7 helpline a little earlier than usual this year.
Anticipating a dengue outbreak this year, the government has taken up measures and is already reviewing the preparedness of the government and private hospitals to deal with the vector-borne disease. The 24x7 control room, which is likely to be launched in two-three days, has been set up at the office of the directorate general of health services. It will cater to patients’ complaints regarding the unavailability of beds and about hospitals turning them away. The helpline (011-22300012) is usually launched by August-September, when there is a surge in the number of cases of vector-borne diseases in the city. Since 89 cases of chikungunya and 36 cases of dengue have already been reported in Delhi till May 13, the government has gone for an early preparation this summer.
“Chikungunya outbreak is unlikely this year, and the cases that we are getting are due to antibodies present in the population. Generally one attack gives lifelong immunity. But seeing the number of dengue patients, the chances of a dengue outbreak is there,” said a senior official of the health department. Last week, the government had issued a circular asking all hospitals to add extra beds to tackle such cases. It had allowed private hospitals to increase their bed strength by 10-20 per cent.
“We have started surveillance and awareness activities earlier this year. Domestic breeding checkers are going to houses for checking any breeding. In the past three weeks, the cases have reduced owing to our campaigns,” said the official.