MCD suppressing chikungunya figures, say doctors

November 2nd, 2010 - 6:38 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 2 (IANS) As dengue threat continues to loom over Delhi, another infection spread by mosquito bite, chikungunya, seems to be afflicting people in large numbers and private doctors are accusing the government agencies of suppressing figures.

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has confirmed 33 cases of Chikungunya this year, but private doctors said the real figure could be much higher. They peg the figure close to 1,000.

Delhiites, private doctors and officials of health centres indicated that the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) was downplaying the number of chikungunya cases.

“Delhi is under the grip of chikungunya, but the municipal authorities are busy suppressing figures to save their face. The actual number of patients affected by chikungunya is at least three times more than what the civic body says,” said a pathalogist, on the condition of anonymity.

Aggreed A.C. Dhariwal, director, National Vector Borne Disease Control Progamme (NVBDCP). He told IANS: “There is a chikungunya outbreak in the city, the cases are under-reported by the municipal authorities.”

“I visited various places in the capital where mosquito breeding is high. The civic body should do an intensive fogging to curtail further spread of the disease,” he said.

He also said that the NVBDCP has asked the Delhi government and the MCD to intensify its anti-mosquito fogging and anti-larval pesticide spraying.

Meanwhile, people complained that chikungunya cases were on the rise, particularly the in south Delhi neighbourhoods of Jangpura, Defence Colony, Green Park and Vasant Kunj. They said the MCD was not taking preventive measures.

Speaking to IANS, Monu Chaddha, president of the Jangpura Resident Welfare Association, said: “Since October first week, the civic body has stopped fogging in our area, even after repeated pleas they give excuses like the fogging machines are not working.”

“We have already given a complaint to the area health officer and other senior MCD officials but no concrete steps have been taken.” Chadha said. “About 70 percent of the people in this area have been affected by chikungunya,” he added.

V.K. Monga, chief of the MCD’s health committee, accepted that chikungunya cases were under-reported. He said the figures on chikungunya were based only on patients visiting government hospital.

The number of patients seeking medicine from private doctors was not getting reflected in the MCD’s figures on chikungunya.

Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans by the bite of aedes aegypti mosquito (also called the yellow fever mosquito). Chikungunya starts with symptoms like fever, vomiting, nausea, headache and joint pain.

Monga said many patients were ignorant about its symptoms and approached the health centres very late.

According to official data, Delhi has reported 33 cases of chikungunya this year. But private hospitals and doctors say that about 1,000 people have been affected.There are 1,800 government and private hospitals in the capital, of which 700 are registered.

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