Friday, December 13, 2019 | ePaper

Ministers shouldn't take "dengue" lightly

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WHEN mosquito-borne viral fever claimed unofficially 77 lives and infected 30,000 patients, at that time our Ministers are divided over the intensity of dengue menace. Health Minister Zahid Maleque said that the dengue situation improved, while Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader said on Tuesday that the number of dengue cases was increasing.
The discord between the Ministers expresses the cacophony in the coordination to combat dengue menace when people are dying without proper treatment and the hospitals are overcrowded and exhausted in providing basic treatment. Earlier we saw that - Health Minister arranged a foreign trip along with his family members leaving hundreds of dengue patients in an utmost uncertainty.
Meanwhile, the government has sought technical assistance from the World Health Organisation fearing spreading of the disease. What's true is that, the government's health emergency and operation centre control room is providing reports that dengue cases are increasing everyday. At least 11,451 people were hospitalised with the infection in the past six days of August. Besides, eight more people including five in the capital and one each in Rangpur and Dinajpur died of dengue on Tuesday. With these deaths, so far 77 people died of the disease, according to unofficial reports, but the government data say the death figure stands at 23. In total, so far 29,912 dengue patients were hospitalised this year, showed the control room data.
It is very hard to understand for us why the authorities concerned are playing hide and seek game regarding the fatal issue. There is no insecticide in the hands of DCCs which is capable to deal with Aedes mosquitoes till the date. Both the city corporations are allegedly spraying some ineffective insecticides using fogger machines. The WHO experts have already said that fogging is totally ineffective against Aedes mosquitoes.
Presently, several million of people have started leaving the capital and other cities to go to their village homes to celebrate Eid-ul Azha. We fear, virus of the dengue will travel along with the people even to the remote areas of the country. If so, the dengue menace would be out of control. We do urge the government not to take the issue lightly.

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