Don’t panic, chikungunya doesn’t kill: Delhi minister

New Delhi: Delhi’s Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Wednesday urged people not to panic over the spread of chikungunya and said the disease by itself rarely causes death.

Jain told the media that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government was not satisfied with the efforts undertaken by the BJP-controlled civic bodies to fight the breeding and spread of mosquitoes.

Speaking after holding a meeting with senior officials of his government and civic bodies, Jain said there was no need to panic over the spread of chikungunya and dengue in the capital.

Jain’s comments came amid reports that chikungunya had killed 10 people in the city.

The minister said he had visited 12 major hospitals in the capital and there were plenty of beds available in all of them for patients of vector-borne diseases.

As a precaution, the leave of doctors and other medical staff in all the Delhi government hospitals have been cancelled.

“We are not satisfied with the fogging supposed to have been done by the North, South and East municipal corporations,” Jain said.

“We never saw any reports in the media till now,” he said, adding that the civic bodies had been told to share with the Delhi government details of the fogging done so far.

He said there was a need to carry out fogging in the whole of Delhi.

The minister urged people to check for stagnant water in and around their homes every week. “We should not let even two spoons of water to accumulate. That is where the mosquitoes breed.

“There are 50 lakh houses in Delhi. If everyone does this, we will succeed in this campaign.”

Jain said experts were of the view that chikungunya rarely cases death. “The chances of dying due to chikungunya is very rare. But if patients are having other complications besides chikungunya and die, that is another matter.”

Saying that even the reported 10 deaths should not cause panic, he said: “Some 200 people die in Delhi hospitals daily. That is around 6,000 deaths a month. No one seems to panic over such a large number.”

Earlier, the AAP also said there was no need to panic over chikungunya.

“There is no need to panic,” AAP leader Dilip Pandey told the media. “Our hospitals are competent to treat the patients we get.”

Pandey said that contrary to the allegations made by the BJP, the Delhi government had been readying itself to overcome vector-borne diseases for weeks.

He said that AAP activists had been fogging several areas across the capital to beat the mosquito menace since August. “Our Doctors’ Cell has also decided to open free clinics.”

Hospitals in Delhi are with either the central government or the BJP-held municipal corporations or the AAP-led Delhi government.