Chikungunya bites Delhi but MCD says situation 'under control'
New Delhi, Sep 13 The three BJP-led municipal corporations today sought to downplay the health crisis gripping Delhi, even as the city has reported four more deaths due to chikungunya, including one at a civic-run hospital.
Senior leaders from the three corporations, at a press conference, claimed that the "situation was under control" though health experts have termed the spiralling number of chikungunya cases, an "outbreak situation".
According to a report released yesterday by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation, at least 1,057 cases of this vector-borne disease have been recorded till September 10, however, hospitals in the city altogether are reporting much higher number. SDMC is the nodal agency for tabulating the report on the cases of the vector-borne diseases, on behalf of all civic bodies in Delhi.
Leader of House in SDMC and former South Delhi mayor Subhash Arya said, "People should not panic as the situation was still under control."
Arya, who was accompanied by Leader of House in NDMC, V P Pandey, East Delhi Mayor Satya Sharma, SDMC Standing Committee Chairman Shailendra Singh Monty and NDMC Standing Committee Chairman Pravesh Wahi, faced a barrage of tough questions from the press, even as the leaders claimed "adequate measure" were being taken to combat the situation.
"Fogging is being done in all our areas. We have already pressed 12 mobile fever vans in south Delhi and now we are planning to run them in two shifts instead of just one. Leaves of all health personnel have been cancelled from August onwards," Arya said.
Incidentally, mayors of North Delhi and South Delhi were conspicuous by their absence.
North Delhi Mayor Sanjeev Nayyar is out of country while South Delhi Mayor Shyam Sharma is out of Delhi, a senior civic official said.
While hospitals in Delhi have reported at least nine deaths from dengue this year and five from chikungunya, including one this evening, the civic bodies have acknowledged only four deaths from dengue and fatality from chikungunya is still unaccounted.
75-year-old Prakash Kalra, a resident of Mathura, died of the disease this evening at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, where three other elderly men succumbed to it yesterday.
22-year-old Isha died on September 1 at the Hindu Rao Hospital which was also reported today.
She died of cardiac arrest triggered by complications from chikungunya, a senior doctor of the hospital said.
Hindu Rao is run under the North Delhi Municipal Corporation and is one of the biggest hospitals in Delhi.
"Given the number of cases and five deaths in quick succession, it is an epidemic-like situation," a senior doctor at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital said.