The Punjab government on Tuesday held the COVID-19 pandemic responsible for the horrible spread of dengue, which has taken the life of hundreds of people in over a month.
“Possible reason for increase in number of dengue cases in 2021 is the global cyclical trend of dengue fever and the severe impact of COVID-19 in the region,” the Punjab Health Department responded before the Lahore High Court during a hearing of petitions seeking action against the spread of dengue.
The report submitted before the Lahore High Court reads, “Dengue is considered to be a cyclical disease which emerges in increasing numbers each year globally due to new age cohorts, new unexposed population migration, mosquito resistance, climate change and population behavior towards dengue.”
The number of dengue patients, as per the Punjab government, stood at a total of 17,753. From the total, the test results of 11,199 dengue patients are from private laboratories, 3,417 from private hospitals’ laboratories and 3,137 from public hospitals’ laboratories.
The officials told the court that 118,585 spots of Dengue larva were identified and eliminated by the teams and anti-Dengue spray was carried out in over 1.4 million places while targeted fogging was conducted in 18,044 areas in the province and over 10 million houses and 1.7 million spots were checked during the anti-dengue campaign.
The report said 1,316,518 cases of Dengue were reported in the world in 2021, with Brazil at the top with 845,720 cases, India with 60,112 cases, Vietnam with 53,489 cases, Peru with 37,728 cases, Philippines with 32,555 cases, Bangladesh with 20,129 cases, Malaysia with 20 376 cases and Sri Lanka with 14,274 cases.
The report came after Dengue claimed four more lives in different parts of the province during the last 24 hours. So far, more than 100 people have lost their lives due to the spread of Dengue.
The officials claimed that they were taking measures vigilantly to eliminate Dengue breeding spots, spread public awareness, conduct spray activities in Lahore and ensure health facilities in hospitals for Dengue patients.
They asked the court to dispose of the petition seeking directives for the Punjab Health Department to take measures to control the disease.
After arguments of both sides, Justice Ayesha A Malik of the Lahore High Court adjourned the hearing till December 3.