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Dengue death toll in Delhi goes up to 16

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SAFETY FIRST: Desert coolers being removed from the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences campus in New Delhi on Wednesday. PHOTO: V. V. KRISHNAN
SAFETY FIRST: Desert coolers being removed from the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences campus in New Delhi on Wednesday. PHOTO: V. V. KRISHNAN

Staff Reporter

589 reported cases in hospital; many more screened for symptoms at AIIMS

NEW DELHI: The dengue death toll here in the Capital has gone up to 16 with the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) confirming two more deaths on Wednesday and announcing that three other patients, including one who had been brought in from Mathura, had died of suspected dengue on Tuesday.

The number of reported dengue cases meanwhile has shot up to 589 with 92 more patients being admitted to hospital during the past 24 hours.

AIIMS spokesperson Shakti Gupta said on Wednesday evening: ``Two patients admitted with dengue haemorrhagic fever -- 14-year-old Reshma from Meerut and 18-year-old Rehmat Ali from Hauz Rani -- died in the hospital on Wednesday. At present we have 72 patients admitted to the hospital of whom 19 are from the AIIMS campus and 53 outsiders. Twenty-nine new dengue patients were admitted to the Institute in the past 24 hours, of whom three are from the AIIMS campus.''

Stating that two patients had been discharged during the past 24 hours, Dr. Gupta said ``as many as 750 patients with fever have been examined for dengue at our fever screening clinic that has been set up in the AIIMS Casualty''.

The hospital has also segregated its "high-risk suspected dengue patients" from those under general observation.

Because of the heavy patient load and dengue crisis at AIIMS, the first, third and ninth semester examinations for medicos have been postponed until further notice. The fresh dates would be announced after October 26, said an AIIMS official.

Meanwhile, during a surprise check at Swami Dayanand Hospital, Delhi Mayor Farhad Suri found mosquitoes breeding in an overhead tank. Bara Hindu Roa Hospital was penalised on Tuesday for a similar lapse. The Mayor expressed concern at the poor hygiene levels at these hospitals and ordered strict penal action against the guilty officials.

He also directed the MCD staff to immediately cover an open drain in the Hindu Rao Hospital complex.

During the past one week the civic body has issued challans to 13 hospitals for failing to prevent breeding of mosquitoes on their premises. MCD Health Department head S. K. Yadav said 589 cases of dengue had been reported till 10 a.m. on Wednesday of which 352 were from Delhi and 237 from outside. He said it would take another fortnight before the disease was brought under control.

In an effort to contain the crisis, the MCD has constituted a dengue task force for each of the 12 civic zones in the Capital to monitor preventive measures.

Twelve vehicles mounted with fogging machines have been deployed for outdoor fogging and 370 hand-operated machines for indoor fogging.

Saturdays and Sundays have been declared working days and no leave will be granted to the anti-malaria staff till November 30.

Five fire tenders have also been deputed for carrying out anti-larval operations in major drains and seven power spray tankers have been deputed to carry out anti-larval operations in major water collections.

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