Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s government today ordered 1,000 extra beds in hospitals to treat dengue patients. Doctors at state-run hospitals have been told to cancel their leave immediately.
The government was spurred into action following the suicide of a couple whose seven-year-old son died from the fever allegedly after being refused treatment at a number of Delhi hospitals.
As well as the extra beds, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain ordered “fever clinics” be set up at overwhelmed hospitals to help with the numbers.
“I have ordered all government hospitals that they should not refuse to admit dengue patients even if they have to treat two patients on a single bed,” he said.
There have been about 1,700 cases recorded in the city so far this year, mostly in recent weeks, the same amount as recorded for all of 2010, officials said.
“This is the worst outbreak in the last five years and it is going to further increase as the weather remains humid,” YK Mann, director of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, told news agency AFP.
Dengue fever, also known as “breakbone disease” which has no known vaccination or cure, strikes fear into the citizens of Delhi when it arrives with the monsoon rains.
Hospitals across the capital are stretched to breaking, with patients sharing beds and scores jostling at government health facilities for free tests for the fever The government’s moves come after a grief-stricken couple jumped from a four-storey building in Delhi last week, two days after their son’s death.
Transmitted to humans by the female Aedes Aegypti mosquito, dengue causes high fever, headaches, itching and joint pains that last about a week.