New Delhi, Sep 17: The number of fatalities due to chikungunya complications has risen to 15 in the national capital as two more deaths were reported today from a hospital in the city which is battling the outbreak of the vector-borne disease.
"Two elderly persons, both aged above 70 and belonging to Delhi, died on September 15 of chikungunya complications at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH). One of them suffered from hypertension while the other had kidney problems," a hospital source said.
The number of deaths from chikungunya complications at SGRH has climbed to seven, the highest at any hospital in the city. Out of the 15 deaths, Apollo Hospital has reported five, while AIIMS, Hindu Rao Hospital and PSRI recorded one death each. Gulab Chand Gupta (70) from Lajpat Nagar in south Delhi, died on September 12, a family member yesterday said.
"He was admitted at Pushpawati Singhania Research Institute (PSRI) in south Delhi on September 7 and succumbed to chikungunya complications on September 12. His medical report says he died of acute febrile illness with septic shock and multi-organ failure," his son-in-law Santosh Mangal said. Chikungunya and dengue have claimed at least 33 lives and affected nearly 3,000 people in Delhi.
18 people have died of dengue which has affected over 1,100 people in the city. The Centre had yesterday sought a detailed report from the Delhi government on deaths due to it and dengue, including medical history of the deceased.
"We have asked for a detailed report on the deaths due to the vector-borne diseases in the city. Also, we have sought medical history of the deceased, whether they had any co-morbid conditions," Union Health Minister J P Nadda said on the sidelines of a symposium here on liver transplant.
"Many of the patients diagnosed in Delhi are coming from the NCR region and so fever clinics could also be set up there. We are resolving this matter with Haryana and other governments in the NCR," he said. Nadda had yesterday met Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain to discuss the situation and assured all support to the city government, while asserting that no patient is being turned away without treatment and there is no shortage of doctors and drugs.
The Delhi government has also asked private hospitals not to release data on vector-borne disease cases "directly to the press", which may "create panic". In the wake of chikungunya outbreak, the Delhi government has initiated the process for declaring chikungunya as a notifiable and dangerous disease. Doctors say that chikungunya is not a life-threatening disease in general, but in rare cases leads to complications that prove fatal, especially in children and elderly persons.