LNJP Hospital, other facilities in Delhi ramp up arrangements as dengue cases surge
New Delhi: Amid a steady spike in dengue cases in the national capital, the state-run LNJP Hospital and various other government and private facilities have augmented arrangements to attend to the rising number of patients.
Seventeen confirmed and 55 suspected cases of dengue have been reported till Tuesday at the LNJP Hospital, officials said on Wednesday.
“As cases have spiked, we have made arrangements to attend to dengue patients. Mild cases and suspected cases are being kept in the Fever Ward on the third floor of the Emergency Block of the hospital, while patients in serious conditions are kept in Medicine Ward in the campus,” a senior doctor said.
She said if required, other wards can be taken up too to cater to dengue patients, as cases of COVID-19 have fallen significantly in the last two months.
LNJP Hospital, a 1500-bed facility, has served as the nerve centre of the city’s fight against the Covid pandemic and a 500-bed additional facility was set up in Ramlila Maidan during the second wave.
“Now, cases of dengue have started rising, when we all thought that Covid cases had abated. So, we all need to be very alert and take all precautions to prevent dengue,” the senior doctor of the LNJP Hospital said.
According to data shared by the hospital authorities, only eight patients of Covid were there at the facility till Monday.
The doctor, who is also a senior official at the state-run facility, said now there seems to be an additional worry of dengue.
Dengue mosquito larvae breed in clear, standing water, while those of malaria thrive even in dirty water.
Cases of vector-borne diseases are usually reported between July and November but the period may stretch till mid-December.
Malaria, dengue and chikungunya are accompanied with high fever and therefore, doctors feel that people might suspect that they have contracted COVID-19.
Asked if cases of dengue and Covid could lead to complications in managing patients, she said, “Yes, both have similar symptoms of high fever and fatigue and weakness but dengue patients, confirmed or suspected, will generally not exhibit respiratory issues as in Covid, so it can be distinguished”.
“But sometimes there is a borderline case or a chance of double infection, so, in that case we can readily do the rapid antigen test to check for coronavirus infection,” the doctor added.
Other Delhi government-run facilities and some of the leading private hospitals have also ramped up arrangements amid the surge in cases of dengue, caused by the bite of aedes aegypti mosquito.
The national capital has seen a surge in dengue cases in the last two weeks and the first death due to it was reported on Monday.
According to a civic report on vector-borne diseases released on Monday, one death due to dengue and a total of 723 dengue cases have been recorded this season till October 16, which is the highest case count since 2018 for the same period.
The total number of cases this year till October 9 had stood at 480, indicating 243 fresh cases have been logged in one week.
Of the total count of dengue cases recorded in Delhi this year, 382 have been reported this month till October 16, which amount to nearly 52 per cent of the cumulative cases.
Leading private facilities are also trying to ensure that dengue patients are attended to and looked after, even as cases continue to spike, putting pressure on existing medical infrastructure as large resources had been dedicated earlier for treatment of COVID-19 patients.
Delhi had recorded one death due to COVID-19 on Tuesday and 36 fresh cases with a positivity rate of 0.06 per cent, according to data shared by the city health department.
Dr Rajeev Nayyar, Facility Director at Fortis Hospital in Vasant Kunj, said with the continuous upsurge in dengue cases, “we are ensuring that all the patients are being attended 24/7”.
“The patients who can be treated at home are being provided with the necessary medical counselling. Admission is being ensured for patients who are in need of medical intervention. We have also circulated education material amongst the patients,” he said.
Awareness camps are being organised at corporate houses, public sector undertakings and RWAs to sensitise people, Nayyar said.
A total of 1,072 cases and one death was logged in the entire year in 2020.
In 2015, the city had witnessed a massive outbreak of dengue, when the number of dengue cases reported had crossed 10,600 in October itself, making it the worst outbreak of the vector-borne disease in the national capital since 1996.
Dr R S Mishra, director and senior consultant, internal medicine, Max Super Speciality Hospital at Saket, said currently there is a “significant increase” in the number of patients with fever and many of these have been diagnoses with dengue.
Most of these patients are being managed on an OPD basis, but some require hospitalisation and a few of them require ICU care due to severity of illness.