Shehbaz Sharif insists govt implement existing SOPs to combat dengue

Netizens recall Sharif’s aggressive anti-dengue strategy, say PTI missing same rigour to counter rising public health crisis

Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif took note of the rising Dengue cases in Punjab on Friday and insisted the government to follow existing protocols to combat the crippling disease.

Sharif tweeted that the government should follow the ‘guidelines and protocols’ in place to fight the disease-causing dengue mosquito. He added that people’s lives were at stake and the government should take all steps to curb the threat in the province.

Sharif’s response to rising dengue cases had other netizens wondering why the government wasn’t responding with haste. Several pointed out that the former PML-N government had done a better job at handling the public health crisis. Journalist Zebunnisa Burki tweeted that there was a ‘tried and tested’ system to counter dengue and wondered why it was not being implemented this time around as well.

Another journalist, Aima Khosa said that previously effective anti-dengue procedures were accompanied by a ‘vigilant government’ that conducted preventative ‘cleaning campaigns’ across Lahore. Khosa added that the current regime was too lazy to turn its focus to the rising threat.

In 2011, Sharif, who was Punjab’s chief minister at that time, formulated an aggressive combative strategy against the disease. The Punjab Disaster Management Authority released a book titled ‘Control and Surveillance of Dengue – A Case Study of Lahore’, which contained detailed SOPs to stall the public health crisis.

Hundreds of dengue cases have been reported across Pakistan in recent days. Federal Health Minister Dr Yasmeen Rashid addressed the press at Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Hospital on Wednesday and insisted the citizenry to be aware of stagnant water around them, which could act as breeding sites for dengue larva.