The Lyari neighbourhood in Karachi is being fumigated to stem the spread of the Dengue virus by Sindh Solid Waste Management Board on October 6, 2021. Image Credit: REUTERS

Islamabad: While Pakistan sees a significant decline in number of COVID-19 cases, reports of the increasing number of dengue patients are emerging from various parts of the country, particularly from Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Islamabad.

In view of rising number of dengue fever cases, the Punjab government has decided to set up 340-bed field hospital in Lahore.

According to Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid, the dengue virus situation in the province was serious but in Lahore, particularly, it is critical.

We have found more than 71,000 houses where dengue larva was detected, she said adding fumigation teams along with health workers were active round the clock in survey and spray to restrict dengue virus spread.

The health department claimed that 165 new positive cases of the dengue virus were reported during the last 24 hours in Punjab, 110 in Lahore alone.

After Lahore, it is Rawalpindi the worst-hit city in Punjab where dengue patients are reported on a daily basis. According to the Punjab health department 28 patients were reported a day earlier in the garrison city.

The federal capital also reported 66 dengue positive cases from rural and 20 from the urban areas, a total of 86 a day earlier.

According to District Health Officer (DHO) Dr Zaeem Zia, so far 657 cases of dengue virus have been reported in Islamabad — 435 from rural and 222 from urban areas. Around 35 patients have also been admitted in Federal Services Government Polyclinic Hospital and the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims).

Our surveillance teams are in the field monitoring the situation in the capital, said Dr Zaeem in a tweet. These teams, besides spreading dengue awareness, are removing stagnant water and covering open tanks, he said and posted the pictures of a ‘case response’ in Islamabad’s residential area Ghauri Town.

The capital city of KP, Peshawar, happens to be the most infected district by dengue as 70 cases were recorded in the province a day earlier, according to the provincial health department.

A campaign has been launched by the District Water and Sanitation Services Peshawar, local government and other line departments to prevent spread of the mosquito-borne seasonal disease.

The drive includes fumigation, awareness and free testing for dengue fever in the affected districts but the main focus is on Peshawar where majority of the people have been infected.

So far as COVID-19 is concerned, according to the National Command & Operation Centre (NCOC), country’s nerve centre keeping an eye on coronavirus situation, COVID-19 positivity rate had come down to 2.60 per cent as 1,212 persons returned positive after 46,477 tests were conducted in past twenty-four hours.

After 39 casualties in last one day Pakistan’s toll caused by COVID-19 climbed to 27,986 on Wednesday while 2,171 persons also recovered in twenty-four hours, the NCOC statistics further reveal. According to the official website of the Ministry of Health Services, there are 44,828 active cases of COVID-19 in the country.