Dengue has affected 11,555 people: Centre

CHENNAI: As many as 11,555 people have been diagnosed with dengue in Tamil Nadu (till Sunday) out of which nearly 6,000 cases were reported in the last two months, according to data released by the Union health ministry. The data shared by the Union health ministry says the number of people affected by dengue in Tamil Nadu till July this year was just 4,654 but it rose to 11,555 in October.

The data was collated after receiving inputs from the Tamil Nadu Government, which had last week put the number of those affected due to the dreaded disease at more than 10,000.  So far, more than 35 people have succumbed to dengue across the state and the state government has shored up efforts to reduce incidence of the disease by creating awareness among the people.  The Tamil Nadu Government has been under attack from Opposition parties for failing to control spread of dengue as several thousand people have been admitted in hospitals across the state.

Tamil Nadu Government had sent the details of number of dengue cases to the Union health ministry on Monday. The data said that as of October 8 the number of cases stood at 11,555. The government on Tuesday reiterated its appeal to the people on the need to keep water tanks and water storage drums “completely covered. Uncovered or partially covered tanks and drums that store water are very big breeding ground for mosquitoes. Every tank or drum should be covered completely so that they don’t become breeding ground for mosquitoes. We ask people to follow these steps,” a senior official said.

As a part of the ongoing effort to control dengue, the state health department has increased the number of screening centres up to 125, the highest in the country.  Besides spending Rs 13.95 crore for mosquito control and awareness programmes, an additional funding of Rs 23.50 crore has been recently sanctioned towards procuring 830 new cell counters, said an official release from the state government.  “More than 40,000 staff have been deployed in 24/7 fever clinics, fever wards and other health centres across the State to control dengue,” the release added. The health department has made an appeal to all private hospitals and pharmacies to follow the fever management protocol framed by WHO and not to encourage over-the-counter-sale of drugs.

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