LAHORE, Oct 02 (APP):Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid said on Saturday that an increase in dengue cases was being witnessed in the wake of changing weather over the past six weeks.
Addressing a press conference at Chief Minister Secretariat here, she said four lives have been lost since January 2021 in the province adding that Lahore reported 1603, Rawalpindi 208, Attock 20 and Sargodha 15 dengue cases.
The minister said that Punjab hospitals were catering to dengue and COVID-19 patients simultaneously, adding that beds had been increased in High Dependency Units (HDU) of Punjab.
In public sector hospitals of Lahore, 530 beds had been reserved for dengue patients and 138 were reserved in HDUs. In Lahore, 190 patients were under treatment in public sector hospitals and 81 patients admitted in private hospitals.
The government had made timely arrangements to keep people safe from dengue, she said adding that since January 2021, as many as 15 cabinet committee meetings had been held to review dengue situation in which besides minister, chief secretary, commissioners and deputy commissioners had been reviewing the situation.
Dr Yasmin informed that out of 8 million homes in Punjab, and 3.5 million homes in Lahore, most of these had been checked by surveillance teams. In Lahore 31,000 homes were identified for dengue larva. Case response were initiated at 500,000 homes. The areas most affected by dengue were DHA, Cantt, Johar Town, Allama Iqbal Town, she mentioned.
Secretary Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department Imran Sikander Bloch had discussed with stakeholders measures to intensify surveillance in meeting with Corp Commander Lahore, she said and adding that in DHA, Health Department teams were working in collaboration with local administration.
Dr Yasmin said in all public sector hospitals, adequate stock of medicines were available for treatment of dengue patients.
She said “We are providing free medicines for dengue patients in private hospitals.”All private labs of Punjab would charge only Rs. 90 for dengue tests across Punjab and a letter had already been issued, she informed. This test could only be conducted on recommendation by a doctor, she added.
She said that separate dengue counters had been set up in all hospitals of Punjab and treatment on a consistent protocol was being given to dengue patients. She maintained dengue and coronavirus patients were being kept in separate and isolated wards. Overall 747 beds had been reserved for dengue patients, she added. She said “We are witnessing a decline in the fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic.”
In the last 24 hours, 524 corona cases have been reported in Punjab and 24 patients have lost their lives. More than 18,000 coronavirus tests have been performed in the last 24 hours.
“I want to congratulate our commissioners and deputy commissioners for vaccinating such a large number of people” she said. So far more than 47.5 million people had been vaccinated, she added. Adequate stock of coronavirus vaccine was available in the province and currently 15 million doses of vaccine were available in stock, she mentioned.
To a query, she said that teams of drug inspectors were investigations the issue of medicine stock outs and responsible people would be penalized. She said these reports would be made public. All government hospitals get funds worth billions for medicine procurement. However, she added, action will be initiated based on evidence.
To another question, Dr Yasmin Rashid said action had already been taken on fake entry against staff responsible for entry of Nawaz Sharif. She added his fake entry was a conspiracy against the state to discredit the system. The federal government was investigating this incident as well. Both secretaries were present on the spot for investigations and those involved in these conspiracies would be exposed.
Present on the occasion were Secretary Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department Imran Sikander Baloch, Special Secretary Specialized Healthcare and Medical Education Department Mohammad Ajmal Bhatti and Consultant Professor Asad Aslam Khan.