ISLAMABAD: As many as 5,237 people have tested positive for dengue fever while six deaths have been reported this year across the country.
According to data collected by The Express Tribune from the National Institute of Health (NIH) laboratory, out of the total confirmed cases of dengue fever, 2,300 have been reported from Sindh, 1,164 from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 1,707 from Rawalpindi, 24 from Islamabad and 41 from Balochistan.
According to NIH sources a massive outbreak of dengue has been reported in Karachi where so far 2,203 cases have been reported while four people have died. In Rawalpindi 1,707 cases have been reported and two deaths have been confirmed of which 1,270 were from Rawal Town alone. In Batkhela, KP 276 cases have been reported thus far.
Talking to The Express Tribune a senior official in the ministry of national health services, regulation and coordination (NHSRC) who wished not to be named said that this year Pakistan is experiencing a massive outbreak of the deadly fever.
“But unfortunately except for the Punjab provincial government none of the other provincial governments are taking it seriously,” said the official.
He added that the disease is spreading rapidly in Sindh, especially in Karachi, but so far the health department concerned has not yet taken action to prevent it.
The official also revealed that for the first time dengue fever cases have been reported from Batkhela, a small city in K-P.
“People infected with the disease travelling to other areas are becoming a potential source of its spread but no significant steps are being taken to control or stop it,” he said.
When contacted, Dr Muhammad Salman, focal person on International Health Regulations in Pakistan said this year Pakistan is not the only country where a massive outbreak of dengue fever has been reported as over 20,000 cases have been reported in India , Sri Lanka, etc.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 13th, 2015.