Authorities Issue Alert as Dengue Outbreak Grips Rawalpindi

Dengue fever has reached alarming proportions in the Rawalpindi and Cantonment areas, with over 485 confirmed cases, placing immense strain on local healthcare facilities.

Despite the deployment of an expert team from Lahore, efforts to control the vector-borne disease have proven insufficient, leading to its unchecked spread. To address this escalating crisis, local authorities have issued an alert aimed at safeguarding children from dengue fever. This directive mandates the use of full-sleeved shirts for students in educational institutions.

In the last 24 hours alone, a staggering 47 new cases have been confirmed, with an additional 23 test results awaiting verification. All of these recent patients exhibited high fever symptoms, with eleven now in critical condition and receiving treatment in the High Dependency Unit.

Dr. Sajjad Mehmood, the District Coordinator for Epidemics Prevention and Control (DCEPC), provided insights into the new cases, revealing that 17 patients originated from Potohar town urban area, nine from the Municipal Corporation, four from Chaklala cantonment, and three from the Taxila cantonment area. Dr. Mehmood emphasized the critical nature of September as a prime period for dengue transmission and urged residents to adopt stringent precautionary measures against mosquito bites.

Initially, the health department’s strategy was to confine dengue mosquitoes to hotspot areas to protect citizens, but the situation has rapidly spiraled out of control.

Experts expressed deep concern regarding the surging patient numbers and the limited resources available to the district administration. They have warned that Allied hospitals are under immense pressure due to the increasing cases.

In response, local authorities are planning to intensify efforts to combat dengue mosquito breeding and movement. These measures encompass extensive fogging operations and awareness campaigns, especially targeting schoolchildren, who are now advised to wear full-sleeves instead of half-sleeves. Health department teams will actively visit schools to educate both teachers and students on dengue prevention.

The district administration is emphasizing close coordination between the health department and allied hospitals, with 419 patients already on the road to recovery due to improved strategies.

Additionally, the District Health Authority (DHA) has taken legal action by filing 59 FIRs and sealing 10 premises for violations of anti-dengue Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) within the last 24 hours. The city has identified 25 areas as high-risk zones for dengue, heightening concerns regarding the ongoing outbreak.

Dr. Sajjad Mehmood reiterated that the health department, in collaboration with allied departments, has issued tickets to 15 individuals in a bid to enforce anti-dengue measures, signaling the gravity of the situation.

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