Health Minister Reviews Delhi Dengue Situation, Assures Centre’s Support


“Reviewed the dengue situation in Delhi and assured Centre’s full support,” the minister tweeted.

New Delhi:

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Monday directed the Union health secretary to identify and send team of experts to states with high active dengue cases, as he reviewed the situation in Delhi and assured the Centre’s full support.

Mr Mandaviya chaired a high-level meeting with the Delhi government to review the public health measures taken for control and management of dengue.

“Reviewed the dengue situation in Delhi and assured Centre’s full support,” the minister tweeted.

“On-ground initiatives like hotspot identification, fogging and timely treatment will be carried out to curb disease. Centre is also sending a team of experts to states with rising dengue cases,” he said.

The minister directed Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan to identify the states with high active cases and send the teams. The best practices of these states are also to be recorded in the subsequent review meets, he said, according to a ministry statement.

So far this year, six fatalities have been recorded in the national capital due to the mosquito-borne disease, while the number of cases has climbed to over 1,530, according to a civic report released on Monday.

Highlighting the urgency of intervention, the minister pointed out that many poor people are affected by dengue in which low platelet count weakens a patient, the health ministry said in the statement.

“Primary health care centres may prescribe anti-pyretic drugs to suppress the symptoms without addressing the root cause, which may lead to eventual demise of the patient. Since testing is the most important step to identifying dengue, these deaths will not be reported as such and the incidence will continue to be under-reported,” Mr Mandaviya said.

He directed officials to ramp up testing so that all cases of the vector-borne disease are reported and treated properly.

The minister also stressed on the need for effective coordination between the Centre and states, and observed that some hospitals are over-burdened with dengue cases while beds continue to be empty in others, the statement said.

Effective communication between all stakeholders was thus suggested as the way forward, it said.

The health minister asked officials in Delhi to look into the possibility of repurposing COVID-19 beds to treat dengue patients.

It was decided that health officials of the ministry will support their counterparts in the Delhi government to chalk out a detailed action plan to combat dengue, the statement said.

Mr Mandaviya also advised to take on board all the municipal corporations of Delhi (MCDs), the New Delhi Municipal Council, the Cantonment Board and other stakeholders in the effort to intensify dengue control, the statement said.

It was noted that although the health administration was very effective in its communication on vector disease control, the efficacy of these messages on the action taken by common people remains unknown.

Use of mosquito nets, full-sleeved clothing and indoor fogging are to be encouraged while MCDs are conduct spraying in houses of dengue patients and 60 houses around it, the statement said.

Other than removing stagnant water in houses, restaurants, industries, overhead tanks, the health minister stressed on the identification of slums without regular supply of water where water is stored for consumption.

The statement said though extensive cleaning is required for some surfaces where water gets replaced frequently like coolers and refrigerator trays, the use of chemicals like Temephos granules is known to be effective in larvae control.

Mr Mandaviya was apprised that the Delhi government will take up a campaign to sensitise schoolchildren on larvae control and training them to ensure there is no stagnant water in flower pots, feeding bowls for birds and coolers etc, it said.

The campaign will be taken up as schools are being re-opened, the statement said and also mentioned that larvicide fishes like Gambusia have been deployed in 163 site. The Delhi government has declared dengue a notified disease which will enhance reporting and monitoring of the disease.

Delhi is monitoring all fever cases, suspected dengue cases and confirmed cases. Hospitals have also been converted to sites with zero tolerance for mosquitoes, since vectors acquire the pathogen from infected persons and are able to transmit it in their offspring too. Mosquito nets will be provided to dengue patients, the statement.

Though only 10 per cent cases are complicated and mortality seldom crosses one per cent, all Delhi government health officials assured the Union health minister that the outbreak shall be contained with the help of all stakeholders, it said.

The meeting also discussed new vaccines developed to target dengue.
Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary, Vikash Sheel, Additional Secretary and Mission Director, NHM, Arti Ahuja, Additional Secretary (Health), Dr S K Singh, Director, NCDC and other senior officials of the Union Health Ministry were present in the meeting.

Bhupinder Bhalla, Additional Chief Secretary (Health), Delhi led the delegation of UT Health officials in the meeting, according to the statement.