Are there deliberate attempts to hide the number of dengue cases in this election year?
RNI News, New Delhi:
When Benazir (a teacher by profession) caught fever, she didn’t know initially that she was suffering from dengue. With both media and the Government silent on the issue, she couldn’t have realized how rampant dengue was and how many cases were still coming in the hospitals. Four days later, when her condition worsened and she tested positive that treatment for dengue commenced.
Even though mosquitoes of BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh got much of publicity owing to Rahul Gandhi’s recount of how he was “bitten by mosquitoes and had a stomach bug from drinking water in villages”, if doctors handling cases of dengue in the Capital are to be believed, Delhi is currently in the midst of the worst dengue this year. These doctors are of opinion that Delhi has never seen so many cases in past years and if there is a dumb silence on the issue, it is because certain people do not want this to become the issue a little prior to the oncoming Delhi state elections. They are also cynical about the fact why Rahul Gandhi couldn’t spot mosquitoes and innumerable cases of positive symptoms of mosquito-bite related diseases in his own courtyard, where it is the Congress which rules, both in the State and in the Centre.
Talking to RNI on conditions of anonymity, a physician who see patients in OPDs of two small nursing homes in the Capital, says: “I have personally handled more patients who showed positive symptoms of mosquito-bite related diseases than the number of cases that Delhi’s MCD department and Delhi Government are talking about. Even the number of deaths due to dengue that I know of are more than the total number of deaths that the Delhi government are claiming.”
The physician even puts blame on the media who, he says, is silent because of the full page advertisements that it is getting, for as small events as mere ribbon-cutting ceremony of a complex. This may be his personal view because it was the media which first revealed the cases of deaths due to dengue and other mosquito-bite related diseases but which were shown from other causes.
Our correspondent also talked to certain other doctors who too confirmed the view that Delhi and adjoining areas of UP are seeing the worst year so far as far as dengue is concerned. But these doctors too refrained to say anything on records in fear of any backlash from the concerned authorities.
The question was also put to a receptionist in an East Delhi nursing home. He too only confirmed the views of others and said that this small nursing home has never seen so many patients who showed positive symptoms of dengue and other related diseases. Owing to continuous inflow of patients, the nursing home has even acquired a platelet testing machine, which is busy the entire day.
This receptionist also informed that there is a great scarcity of platelets and patients have to run from one place to another in search of platelets. He told us that the Government hospitals provide platelets at Rs. 800 per unit on condition that one unit of blood is donated in lieu. The platelets in the two private hospitals in East Delhi were available for as much as Rs. 10,500 per unit, he said. The MAX hospital in East Delhi had to even deny patients due to non-availability of beds.
It is not just the medicines, platelets and beds which are in shortage. Goat’s milk, widely believed to be helpful in maintaining the platelet count, is hugely in demand so much so that the milk is available at Rs. 200 per litre. There have even been a case where a desperate father was sold goat’s milk at Rs. 1500 per litre, said a source.
Real News International News Bureau