The number of people diagnosed with dengue in Pakistan has increased to 10,000, Minister of State for Health Zafar Mirza revealed.
“The government is trying its best to take measures to control the disease,” the minister said during a press conference in Islamabad on Sunday.
He said the statistics were obtained through screening tests conducted across the country. At least 2,363 people were diagnosed with the fever in Punjab, 2,258 in Sindh, 1,772 in Balochistan and 1,814 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. At least 70% of the dengue cases in Punjab were reported from the Pothohar region, Mirza said.
The National Institute of Health in Pakistan collects statistics of affected people on a daily basis. A daily report on the number of people affected by dengue is available on the www.nih.org.pk website, he added.
In Islamabad, a Dengue Control and Operation Centre has been established, where officials and experts gather at 10am every day to analyse the growing number of illnesses.
The Federal Ministry of Health has set up two 24-hour hotlines for people all over Pakistan. An expert doctor will be available at all times to answer queries.
The hotline numbers are 9212601 and 9216890.
Health departments in all cities will identify breeding grounds for mosquitoes and fumigate those areas, the minister said.
Private hospitals have given 1,000 beds to government hospitals in Islamabad, Mirza said. “There was a shortage of beds at government hospitals due to the rising number of patients every day.”
The government has re-opened 16 health units in Islamabad, which had been non-operational for the past 10 years. “People diagnosed with the fever or those who believe they may have dengue can go to the units and get themselves checked.”
Referring to the alarming figures, he said, “When there’s a disease outbreak, there’s panic”. He added that people need to stay calm.
He said the government will take all the necessary measures to control the spread of diseases. “We hope that in the next few days, there will be reduction in the number of patients, and by the end of the next month, we can fully control it,” he added.