BJP MLA claims 40 children have died in UP's Firozabad due to dengue, Yogi government denies


NEW DELHI: A central team which was sent to Firozabad in Uttar Pradesh to investigate the cause of a fever outbreak and deaths among children has observed that the majority of cases are of dengue and a few are of scrub typhus and leptospirosis.

Firozabad district has recorded 51 deaths, mostly of children, and hundreds of hospitalisations in over a fortnight and the viral fever has now spread to neighbouring Mathura and Mainpuri districts.

Based on the observations of the central team, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan in a letter to the Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary has recommended screening of all fever patients for dengue, malaria, scrub typhus and leptospirosis.

Bhushan highlighted the need to strengthen ELISA-based testing facilities and suggested that activities related to fever survey and vector control be continued under a micro plan submitted by the central team.

He also recommended that surveillance should be strengthened with implementation of the Integrated Health Information Platform (IHIP) in the district in coordination with the central surveillance unit at the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and that entomological activities be strengthened and continued according to standard guidelines and SOPs of the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP).

He also recommended augmenting isolation beds and admission facilities in the district hospital of Firozabad and neighbouring districts and organising a short reorientation of all doctors at primary health centres and community health centres.

Services of experts on infectious diseases from King George’s Medical University and similar institutions may be utilised for this purpose.

“You may recall that a central team comprising National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) officials was sent to Firozabad to investigate the cause of fever outbreak and deaths among children and suggest suitable recommendations for containment of this outbreak.

The central team has observed that the majority of cases are due to dengue, while a few are because of scrub typhus and leptospirosis,” Bhushan said in the letter.

He further suggested intensifying awareness activities By the district administration.

The NCDC has deputed two epidemic intelligence service (EIS) officers in the district for a period of 14 days and they will assist the district in strengthening its outbreak response, Bhushan said.

A district official had said that over 100 people with fever were admitted to the district hospital on Sunday.

The hospital had over 400 patients on Sunday, the official added.

Children are dying of viral fever and dengue, but Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is making false claims of “all is well”, Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav alleged on Monday.

There is an outcry in the state due to dengue and viral fever.

There are huge crowds in hospitals, and children are dying due to a lack of proper and timely treatment, he said in a party statement.

The BJP government is, however, not paying attention to the collapsed health services in the state, he added.

Dengue fever has claimed the lives of hundreds of innocents in western Uttar Pradesh, and the outbreak is now visible in the eastern part of the state as well, Yadav alleged.

In state capital Lucknow itself, there is a rush in hospitals, he said, adding that the disease has hit Firozabad, Mathura, Mainpuri, Kanpur and Farrukhabad among other places badly.

The cries of mothers who have lost their children is a reality which is far away from the tall claims being made in government advertisements, the SP chief said.

Citing various cases of hardships being faced by family members of patients in getting medical attention, Yadav alleged that the BJP government lacked sensitivity, and said dengue has exposed the reality of its claims of having improved medical facilities.

There is widespread public anger against the BJP as it has shown disregard towards the health and the welfare of the people, he said.

The BJP will never come back to power again, and everyone is confident that a ‘Samajwadi’ government will be formed in 2022, Yadav added.