Lucknow: The disturbing case of multiple dengue deaths in Uttar Pradesh’s Firozabad have sent shockwaves across the state at a time when the country is already battling COVID-19. The Centre has reportedly sent a team of experts from the National Centre for Disease Control and the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme to Firozabad to help officials in the district.
The state government said the deaths were due to “Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever,” which is a severe form of the disease. With three fresh fatalities, the death toll due to dengue and viral fever has climbed to 50, it was reporter by official sources early on Friday (September 3). Reportedly, 40 of those who died were children. Later media reports claim that the deaths may have well crossed 65.
At a meeting in Lucknow earlier, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath directed the Principal Secretary, Medical Education, to camp in Agra and Firozabad districts to take stock of the situation, an official spokesperson said. Instructions have also been given to use the isolation beds with the facility of oxygen reserved for Covid patients for the treatment of viral diseases including dengue, he said.
Chief Medical Officer Dinesh Kumar Premi said in a statement that “so far, 50 people have died due to dengue and viral fever. Ten areas — nine blocks and a Nagar Nigam area — in the district are affected,” There are 36 active camps in the district and 3,719 people, including those who have fever, are undergoing treatment there, he added.
Amid the rising death toll, District Magistrate Chandra Vijay Singh has made the chief development officer (CDO) the nodal officer of the district to oversee the treatment and other facilities for the patients. Singh had suspended three doctors with immediate effect on Thursday (September 2) on charges of negligence and warned government doctors of strict action for any negligence in the treatment of the patients.
Dr Girish Srivastava of the Primary Health Centre at Salai, Dr Ruchi Srivastava, a public health expert, and Dr Saurav were suspended. Firozabad’s Chief Medical Officer Neeta Kulshresth was removed on Wednesday following the spate of deaths, mostly of children, since August 18 due to suspected cases of dengue. A senior medical department official said cases similar to those in Firozabad have also been reported from the nearby districts of Mathura, Etah and Mainpuri.
Meanwhile, BJP MLA Manish Asija claimed that on the basis of information available with him, the death toll has climbed to 61. Asija said he is meeting the victims’ families and collecting information about the deaths.
(With PTI inputs)