Chikungunya Toll Rises To 15 In Delhi, Govt Seeks People's Cooperation

Over 2,800 people have been affected so far.

18/09/2016 7:43 AM IST | Updated 18/09/2016 7:53 AM IST
Hindustan Times via Getty Images

NEW DELHI -- The number of fatalities due to chikungunya complications has risen to 15 in the national capital, even as Delhi government yesterday sought people's cooperation in combating vector-borne diseases which have affected over 2,800 people in the city.

Two more deaths have been reported at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH), where five other persons have died due to chikungunya complications in the last one week.

"Two elderly persons, both aged above 70 and belonging to Delhi, died on 15 September of chikungunya complications at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH). One of them suffered from hypertension while the other had kidney problems," a hospital source said.

Out of the 15 deaths, Apollo Hospital has reported five, while AIIMS, Hindu Rao Hospital and PSRI recorded one death each.

Meanwhile, the committee set up by the Delhi government to review cases of death attributed to dengue and chikungunya complications has "ruled out" chikungunya as the primary cause of fatality and said it was "co-morbid conditions" in its patients which led to their deaths.

The Death Review Committee in its report, which was released yesterday by the Delhi government, has, however, only reviewed nearly 20 cases. Review of some of the cases are still awaited, for "lack of documents" from the hospitals.

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain, earlier yesterday said a mass awareness campaign is being launched across the city today under which people have been asked to devote at least 30 minutes to check if there were stagnant water in their residential complexes and around it, to prevent mosquito-breeding.

"We appeal to people to devote at least half an hour time from their daily life and work towards this campaign. There are 42 lakh households in Delhi, and if all of you cooperate then we can together root out dengue and chikungunya from the city," he told reporters.

Delhi government has been under attack from opposition parties for "failing" to check the spread of the two vector-borne diseases.

"While we are saying that chikungunya cannot kill we are not taking it any less seriously. We want people to know that Delhi government is adequately prepared and, our hospitals and mohalla clinics are equipped with testing facilities and fever clinics. So, no need to panic," a top official said.

He said, there are adequate beds in Delhi hospitals and over 400 fever clinics to cater to patients.

Doctors say that chikungunya is not a life-threatening disease in general, but in rare cases leads to complications that prove fatal, especially in children and elderly persons.

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