This is turning out to be a common refrain whenever there is a scare of any viral/vector-borne disease in the city. The first reaction of health officials and the civic administration is denying the existence of any "confirmed" case and dub any report that comes in as that of a "suspected" case.

Same was the case when there was a jaundice outbreak in the old city and parts of the new city early last year. After days of denial, however, with the number of cases going above 1,500, there was no option for the Health Department and the administration, including Water Board officials, but to accept an outbreak. Chikungunya cases also elicited similar reaction.

The dengue scare in the twin cities is also moving in the same direction. The reason: obviously, accepting the incidence of the mosquito-borne disease means conceding that the sanitation in the city is not up to the mark.

The Hyderabad District Review Committee meeting saw ruling party MLAs and MPs donning the role of opposition and district in-charge Minister Mohd Ali Shabbir squirming in his seat every time the mike went to the Congress MLA P. Janardhan Reddy and Rajya Sabha MP V. Hanumantha Rao.

The target, of course, was Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy and they had plenty of stuff to criticise. While all the embarrassment was reserved for the Minister and the officials, the opposition MLAs were all smiles enjoying the show.