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November 28, 2019

Dengue death toll in Karachi rises to 40 as another patient dies


November 28, 2019

Yet another citizen died of dengue fever on Wednesday. The death toll due to the vector-borne disease has risen to 42 in Sindh, of which 40 deaths were reported in Karachi.

While the provincial government’s tall claims to curb dengue hemorrhagic fever fall flat as the virus has virtually become an epidemic in the metropolitan, Sindh health minister Dr Azra Pechuho appears to be counting on a change of weather.

"Dengue outbreak will end when the weather will turn cold,” the health minister said on Wednesday while talking to journalists on the sidelines of a ceremony. She also had a message for the citizens: “Pray that the weather turns cold soon.”

The woman who died of dengue in Karachi yesterday was a resident of Nazimabad area, according to a health official. "Mrs Maryam, 26, was tested positive for dengue fever and subsequently admitted to the Dr Ziauddin Hospital for treatment a couple of days ago. Unfortunately, she could not be saved,” an official of the Sindh Dengue Prevention and Control Programme told The News. Health department officials maintain that around 14,500 people had been infected with dengue fever lately.

However, independent experts claim that the number of dengue patients could be over a hundred thousand. They also claim that the number of deaths could have been over a hundred as in most of the cases, hospitals do not report deaths to the health department.

Commissioner’s vow

Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani has vowed to bring the cases of dengue in the city under control in a week. According to a press statement from the commissioner office, cases of dengue have fallen from 300 to 150 on a daily basis.

The commissioner was on a visit to different dengue camps in the city on Wednesday. He requested non-governmental organisations to play their role in spreading awareness about dengue.

“Even after combating dengue, the awareness campaigns should continue across the city,” he said and added that the city administration along with the Sindh Health Department was taking measures to curb dengue cases throughout Karachi.

Response teams for dengue control were also functional and working district-wise under the supervision of the deputy commissioners, the commissioner said and vowed that by next week the situation would be brought under control in the city. Since the weather was changing, he predicted that the dengue cases would automatically reduce.

Speaking to the media, Shallwnai said that through the formation of camps in different areas of the city, people could be made aware of hazards of the fever. He also directed the health department to continue its awareness campaign regarding dengue control in the city rigorously even after it was controlled. “Measures should be taken to continue such awareness campaigns throughout the city throughout the year,” he said and added that next year they would make sure that their campaigns were effective and lasted for at least nine to 10 months. He also directed the relevant departments to take action against the accumulation of water at tyre puncture shops and under construction buildings.

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